Given the strong Roman Catholic faith of the Portuguese people, it is hardly surprising that most of the festivities in the Azores are associated with religious holidays or Saint’s Days. A few of the festivities are unique to one of the Azorean Islands, but most are celebrated throughout the Islands with only minor differences in techniques and forms.
The origination of many of the festivities was as an act of gratitude to a patron saint for deliverance from some danger. Even religious festivals are not solemn occasions in the Azores; they include parades, food, dancing and even a uniquely Azorean bullfight with ropes instead of swords.
The largest religious festival in the Azores is the Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, (meaning the Festival of the Christ of Miracles). This festival takes place on the 5th Sunday after Easter, in the city of Ponta Delgada. A statue of the Christ is paraded through the city, and then returned to the convent at Esperana In addition to the religious aspects of the festivities, there are street booths, a fair, and general merrymaking