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Pilgrims

The religious sentiment of the people of the Azores is lived intensely. Some of its manifestations are unique, such as one that occurs during Lent: groups of people, mostly men- roam the roads of São Miguel Island in invoking prayers for protection. Hikes of the pilgrims date from 1522 and began as a way of asking God's protection against earthquakes, that shook the island on that date.

Thousands of pilgrims walk the road every year. They travel tens of miles daily with short breaks for rest. The pilgrims walk in several groups, in clockwise direction, leaving behind friends, family and even their jobs. They carry a chaplet and a staff, as well as a sack, a shawl and a scarf around his neck. They sleep in other families homes, who offer them dinner and overnight stay. 

For these believers, this tradition symbolizes surrender, sacrifice and devotion, which repeats itself for two or three consecutive decades. 

 


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