Every year at the beginning of May the people of Estoi celebrate a very special festival, “Festa da Pinha”, meaning festival of the pine cone. Nobody has yet been able to explain to us the origin of this old tradition. The procession from Estoi to Ludo, near Almancil and back, on May 2 is the spectacular highlight of this event.
The participants, who traditionally dress in black trousers, white shirts and red neckerchiefs, get together at the racecourse in Estoi – horsemen, horse-drawn carriages, tractors and lorries, all beautifully decorated with flowers. At the end of the day the best decorations in each of these categories will win a prize.
The spectacular procession starts at around 9:30 with the crowds chanting “Viva a Pinha”, and passes the parish church and the bells ring out as they pass. The next stop is Santa Barbara de Nexe, and from there the procession continues its way in the direction of Almancil to Ludo near the Laranjal golf course. There a huge barbecue takes place for hours, before the cavalcade returns in the evening to Estoi.
Meanwhile back in Estoi young and old alike party in front of the church beginning in the early hours of the evening. A huge crowd of spectators line the main road, expecting the arrival of the torchlight procession shortly before midnight, which is literally right outside the gates to our quinta. It will be a late night for sure with all the festivities.