Celebrating the Holy Spirit in the Azores

The fourth learning activity for Students – Celebrating the Holy Spirit – took place in Madalena, Portugal between 10th and 14th of June 2019.
As the extracurricular activities of the Portuguese school are usually in accordance with the traditions of the island, the Holy Spirit was considered to be the most relevant religious tradition in all the Azores islands. It has a key role even in the political scene, because the Autonomous Region celebrates its day on the Holy Spirit Monday. The Portuguese school gave an insight into the celebration of the Holy Spirit. The project group was engaged in the different communities’ celebrations, in local parades, in communitarian meals, in services in the church. Local teachers, students, families were involved in their local communities’ celebrations, and they were perfectly aware of this tradition and the different roles they played in it.
The first working days – 10th & 11th June were the most relevant days of the celebration of the Holy Spirit. Due to that fact that Monday was a Regional Holiday and as a coincidence, this year, it was also the National Holiday, schools were closed but the students participated in the celebrations together with the host families. During these two days, guest students learnt about ceremonial processions, symbols, the roots of tradition and recorded on video and photo what they considered relevant. Host students and their families assisted their guests elucidating them about the celebrations.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon also teachers and students visited some meaningful cultural and natural areas around Pico Island – a visit to some important geosites of the Azores Geopark on the island of Pico. Visiting the Nature Reserve of Pico island and getting to know its fauna and fauna, the cultural value of the landscape – the mountain working as a weather forecast tool, the aesthetic value of the volcano and its mark on the surrounding islands, the wetlands of Pico island and their importance in terms of biodiversity helped to understand the way of locals life and their faith.
On Tuesday, the 11th June, guest students and teachers continued to register in photo and video the different religious ceremonies on Madalena (the coronation in church, the processions and the shared traditional Holy Spirit lunch) they were integrated by their hosts.
During the next 3 days in schools guest and host students together worked on the materials to make presentations, edit videos about the religious procedures seen in two days to share these products on video sharing sites like Youtube, on social websites and on GoogleMyMaps.
On the 12th of June, Wednesday there was a welcome session at school. Foreign teams presented the videos prepared on some sort of religious or pagan celebration in their countries. There was a presentation by the Portuguese National Agency representative. Guests visited the school facilities, guided by the host students. It was the day of the first working session when students started to prepare videos on the Holy Spirit Celebration. Aimersoft Video Editor and iMovie as tools were used.
In the afternoon there was a trip to Calhau to follow the pedestrian Trail of “Criação Velha’s Vineyards”.
On the 13th of June, Thursday students continued working on their projects and coordinators had a meeting. In the afternoon there was a guided tour “Let’s learn some facts about Madalena” by host students. Guest students and teachers learnt about Wine Cooperative, Statue of Gilberto Mariano, Church of Madalena,Town Hall, Garden of “Maroiços” and Library.
On the 14th of June, Friday students finished their videos and created instructions of their tools (Aimersoft Video Editor, iMovie) used for the work. In the afternoon there was a field trip to Lajes to visit the “Whalers Museum”, Lajes – São Roque, to the wine museums, to the rural agglomerate of Lajido and to the rural agglomerate of Cachorro. In the evening there was the farewell dinner with video presentations of Holy Spirit celebrations and its background, and folk dances.