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Versão Portuguesa

Procession of the Snails

The Feast of Our Lady of Fetal is also known as the ‘Festival of the Snails’, due to its famous tradition of a procession by night illuminated by snail shells, collected by members of the parish and then filled with olive oil and a cotton strip.


The festival is in fact made up of three processions: in the first, which takes place on the last Saturday of September at night, an effigy of Our Lady sets off from the Chapel of Fetal in the direction of the parish church.


The second procession is on the following Saturday, also at night, in which the return journey is made, returning the effigy to its Shrine.


On Sunday morning, a new procession sets off from the church in the direction of the chapel after the effigy is back in place and where a solemn mass is then held. The festival continues during the afternoon with the collection of offerings accompanied by the local orchestra.


Subsequently at the village fair it is tradition for the orchestra to accompany the singing of the Rosary.


During the nightly processions, all the paths from the parish church to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fetal are lit with snail shells sometimes arranged in the shape of religious images or other designs, so that during these two weekends, the  location of Reguengo do Fetal, could be said to actually be ‘seen through different eyes’.