Minho has the most colourful (and beautiful) costume of Portugal, and Viana do Castelo is proud of its tradition. The most interesting detail is that tradition invites women to use all their "richness", and their necks may hold several kilograms of gold.
Of course, nowadays, each woman in traditional parade, is always protected by a relative, as personal bodyguard.
The north of Portugal is the most traditionalist of all Portuguese regions. Minho has also the most beautiful traditional costumes. Aware of that, the city's celebrations are a very good opportunity to see and feel it.
PS - I think that almost ninety per cent of the Portuguese folk recreations abroad use the costumes and dances of this area.
The Feast of the Senhora da Agonia, in Viana do Castelo, is considered the queen of the Portuguese festivals. The "cabeçudos" and "gigantones" (giant puppet heads worn by dancers) accompained by the deafening beat of the drums welcomes the dawn visitors.
The high point of religious feast comes in the afternoon with the Solemn Procession of the Senhora da Agonia.
The dazzling firework display ends the first day of the festival. The festival ends with the Serenata - a cascade of fireworks along the Eiffel Bridge.
It is at the feasts, fairs and festivals in the region of Minho that the Minhotan, particularly the woman, wears her best clothes. The Vianese costume is only worn on these or other special occasions, namely at exhibitions of a folklore nature. The gracious feminine costumes are incomparably colourful, whether they come from the coastal area or from the beautiful Lima valley.
Three weeks of August - Festa de Nossa Senhora da Agonia
Every Friday in the month - Market Day
Town Holiday - 20th August
This is the ruins of a Roman road, very very old, connecting the portuguese city Braga to the spanish city Astorga.