“Meu lindo Agosto!”, a Portuguese expression that, in all its known variations, can be translated to “My lovely August!”. An expression that obviously relates to Summer holidays, but has a deeper meaning in Portuguese culture: it’s the month where many return to their villages in rural Portugal, return from the big cities of Lisboa and Porto but also from outside the country, driving in non-stop road trips through Europe just to cross the border as soon as possible. Some might say this is the joy of coming home and the sorrow of having left, a kind of sorrow so familiar to the Portuguese.
And for all this August is called the month of immigrants, the month where small towns and villages get a pause from their slow decline, and reborn as its population gets larger and younger. So it’s no surprise that in these villages the annual festivities actually happen in August, in two, three or more days of light, fireworks and loud music, the streets and churches fill to honor their patron saint and in every house a substantial meal is enjoyed with all family around the table (something that might not happen in Christmas).
In this photo series (I wouldn’t dare to call it a project or photo essay) I portray one of those festivities during a weekend in the middle of August, just loose fragments,Â captured allÂ with camera phone and gathered at my place for snapshots and other candid photos. All except one photo, the one on the top of this post: although taken in the same place is separated by two years from the rest, taken from my car in a hurry with com compact camera just before returning to Lisboa. Still is one of my favorite photos, and since I was returning to the scene of the crime I had to redo that shot, but now calmly with better equipment. I failed miserably…