In São Nicolau, the most important processions and pilgrimages are those carried out in June: a) Santo António, which is celebrated on the 13th, in Preguiça, approximately 8 km from the village of Ribeira Brava; b) São João, on the 24th, is celebrated in Carvoeiros and S. João, in the city of Ribeira Brava, and Praia Branca, in the municipality of Tarrafal; c) finally, São Pedro, on the 29th, in the city of Ribeira Brava. The last two are characterized by the holding of the “lumnar” (jumping over bonfires) the day before, and the “colá”(traditional dance to the sound of drum beats) rhythm. On the same day, mass is celebrated and followed by a street procession and lunch based on traditional dishes, in particular “modje de capôde” and xerém. Miscellaneous activities take place in the afternoon, namely horse races, auction for the sale of offerings made to the Saint, and popular ball.
Mazurca is a traditional dance of Polish origin, which was frequently used by Polish composers of the romantic era like Chopin, Moniuszko, or Wieniawski. This musical genre reached Cabo Verde in mid-19th century. The rhythm adjusted to the islands, resulting in a music and dance slower than that of Polish origin. The mazurca is no longer danced in Poland, but in Cabo Verde it is still danced and played particularly on the islands of Santo Antão, São Nicolau, and Boavista.
Find out how the typical drink of Cabo Verde, “grogue”, (sugarcane liquor) is manufactured. The methods used are basically artisanal and almost the entire sugarcane crop is allocated to the production of grogue. Sugarcane milling is ensured by a device named as “trapitche”, which can be found in areas like Agua das Patas, Queimadas, and Ribeira Prata.
PRODUCTION OF FARINHA DE PAU (MANIOC FLOUR)
As the island’s typical product, its production is very reduced due to the lack of rainfall. Manufactured in an artisanal way, it undoubtedly deserves a special attention on the part of those who visit Fajã valley.
Brought to the country in the beginning of the 20th century, it slowly grew, experiencing different stages, from simple costumes to organized groups, merrily singing through the streets of the village of Ribeira Brava and elsewhere. According to the local tradition, the Carnival in São Nicolau happens on the days preceding: Saturday night, Sunday and Tuesday afternoon. The most important groups are Copacabana and Estrela Azul.