This Sunday just gone by was the day of the Chicken Festival 2014! That means that it has been a WHOLE year since the last festival AND since I started my blog – wow!
The Chicken Festival is a fundraising event for the local bombeiros (firefighters) of the town Cabanas de Viriato, which is situated in the Viseu district of Central Portugal. As I have mentioned before, the Portuguese are exceedingly proud of their bombeiros as they are all volunteers and are heavily relied on during the spring and summer months.
So every year they hold a festival, where they bombeiros parade around in their uniforms, show off their vehicles and mingle with the townfolk. Here are some random vehicle shots:
They even let Dad sit behind the wheel (I think he just waited until nobody was looking)! This photo is for my bro, Alex, who is currently in South Korea where they love their peace signs:
After this, my folks went inside the headquarters and met up with the Commander of the bombeiros and took a few more photos (points for spotting the terrifying mannequin):
Then everyone is seated for lunch, where they had chicken soup for starter, a chicken-related dish for main and a huge array of amazing desserts. Unfortunately/fortunately the desserts *weren’t* chicken-related it. They also served home-made wine that seemed to be quite alcoholic as it sent a lot of people doo-laa-lee after just half a glass.
Once again though, despite the language barrier, my folks had an amazing time and even made some new friends! I can’t help but think that the wine helped to ease the communication on both sides. If you’re thinking of moving to Portugal or you already live here as an expat then I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for you to go to these kind of events in the surrounding area. Not only is it a superb opportunity to meet the locals, but you’re also showing your face and being the ‘friendly foreigner’ rather than the reclusive one. Yeh, it might be pretty nerve-wrecking at first but once you break the ice you’ll have a great time and learn the language as you go. Going to local festivals is definitely one of my top 10 for mingling with the locals.