Every now and then, in a picturesque rural village in the Alentejo region of Portugal, a magical day happens: it’s when the whole population of Campo Maior gathers and agrees on the organization of one of the most famous festivals in Portugal: the Festas do Povo (People’s Festival), also known as the Festas da Flores (Flowers Festival).
As its original name shows, this festival is dedicated to the people because it’s the result of the will of all the residents who democratically decide whether or not to hold it, and when.
And when they agree on organizing it, each and every citizen gives their contribution in order to decorate all the streets of the village with hundreds of thousands of handmade multicolored paper flowers.
A huge will power mixed with a lot of work and a perfect coordination transform this small town into an entrancing explosion of colors, and it’s not hard to imagine why this festival attracts thousands of visitors every time it’s held.
However, it’s a little harder to be a witness of this magical atmosphere, considering that the festival is not held with a regular periodic schedule: the only way to know when Campo Maior will be shown in all its beauty is to check the Festival’s official website (www.festasdopovo.pt) and hope that a new one is going to be organized soon!
Usually the festival lasts 7-9 days and takes place between the end of August and the beginning of September, but the consultation happens many months earlier, in order to have enough time to meticulously prepare for it.
Since 2015 visitors are charged just a few Euros for the entrance ticket, which on the other hand is free for children up to 10 years of age. Leaving your car in the official parking lots is also free of charge.
Along with the ticket, visitors receive a map that shows which streets have been adorned (usually between 80 and 100!)
Each day is dedicated to a different flower and is full of interesting events, from dancing and music courses to concerts, from art exhibits to theatrical shows: a week in the spirit of joy which brings together not just the makers of this fantastic local festival but also all the persons who are lucky enough to be in Campo Maior at the very right moment.