Every August for the past several years now, Santa Maria da Feira (SMF) the county where Aanifeira is located, celebrates the largest medieval fair (Feira Medieval) in Portugal. The event, held for over a period of 10 days in the centre of the town of SMF, spreads out over the lower parkland area reaching up to a small hilltop where the isolated and extremely ancient IX century (868) castle is located.
This year is no exception with full entertainment for all ages which includes:
- 20 theme areas
- 11 entertainment days & historical reenactments
- 55 entertainment groups
- 900 direct entertainment
- 1400 circulating entertainment performers
- 135 hours of entertainment schedule during the event
- 2000 people working daily on site
- 33 ha event venue
During Santa Maria da Feira’s history there were two periods of time in the year 1000 when the castle was attacked by the Moorish armies of Al-Mansur. They succeeded in conquering the Castle and destroying the local population, but they were retaken successively by Christian forces. During 1028 to 1037, the Arabs continued their attempt to capture the Castle, and were finally defeated in the Battle of Cesár.
The SMF medieval fair has a special area dedicated to the Moors and the sale of Arab wares and food. Aanifeira is proud to be a part of this through the goodwill of one of the fair’s participants who has an Arab Restaurant located in this area. Visitors can have the treat of sitting on large cushions in a lower level floor in the open air enjoying delicious Arab delicacies and drinks. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to Aanifeira. Our special thanks to this fair participant who thoughtfully remembered this shelter and its needs.
We were delighted that several veterinary and animal care volunteers have had the opportunity of seeing and enjoying this medieval fair whilst they have been here doing their volunteer internships.
More images below to have a taste of what has been going on.