Jewish and Christian Easter Festival – Festa das Páscoas Judaica e Cristã, Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova

The Bagpipe Band, Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova, Central Portugal

We visited our local village of Medelim last weekend to attend the Jewish and Christian Easter Festival – Festa das Páscoas Judaica e Cristã. The history of the Portuguese villages that surround us never cease to amaze. There is so much to discover and learn. Luckily there seems to be a different festa every weekend which delves deep into Portuguese history, There is always a good reason to celebrate the region’s different culture’s and influences.

Medelim’s festival was a whole weekend full of historical recreations, Sephardic and medieval music, a Judeo-Christian pedestrian promenade and of course food was involved with the best kosher and regional gastronomy that the area has to offer.

The music was pretty phenomenal too. A traditional Sephardic band busked their way through the streets to enetertain all. Their music was a strange mixture of bagpipes, drums and lute. The band also played whilst the crowds were entertained with templar knights swordfighting reinactments and dramatic offerings. The boys were transfixed, especilly Chaos who has always been fascinated by tales of knights, castles and dragons.

The village also opened its doors to a surprising array of restored houses and museums. The most fascinating of which was the Jewish house, on Rua da Judiara. The house was full of original artefacts, a few scary dummies and provided an insight how difficult life used to be when the Jewish community populated the street in the 16th century.

The festival lasted all weekend and whilst we didn’t stop too long, we all had a great time. The village is well worth a day trip as Medelim is also known as the village of balconies. It has over 200. For a small village this is pretty impressive! The balconies were formed due to an exterior staircase, built from huge slabs of local granite, to give access to the upper floor of the house. Under the stairs is a small area for animals, where chickens were traditionally kept. You can follow the short walking route of the balconies around the village to discover and explore these beautiful archetectural features.

Jewish House Street in Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova, Central PortugalKnights Reinactment, Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova, Central PortugalCheeky Mayhem in Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova, Central PortugalCheeky Mayhem in Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova, Central PortugalBagpipe Band Marching, Medelim, Idanha-a-Nova, Central Portugal

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