The Trays’ Festival will take place from June 29th to July 8th 2019 in Tomar.
When King D.Dinis obtained from pope John XXII the creation of the Military Order of Christ, which was to render such inestimable services to Portugal and the World, his virtuous wife, Queen Isabel de Aragão – the Saint – laid the foundation of the great movement of Christian solidarity by instituting the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, over the Apostles, with festivities and rituals which in many cases undoubtedly of old pagan origin, like the “Festa dos Tabuleiros”.
In Tomar the festivities remained unchanged until the 17th Century and even today several of the ceremonies are still maintained, such as: the Procession, the blessing of the loaves, the shape of the Tabuleiro, the virginal meaning of the white dress worn by the girls, the standards and crowns as well as the distribution of the « Pêza» – comprises bread blessed by the Priest, meat from cattle slaughtered for the purpose, which, in older times, was immolated, and wine – to poor people. Little by little the ritual of the “Impérios” with its coronations, “Mordomos” (Butlers) and “Foliões” disappered, but the ritual of the main ceremonies is still performed in exactly the same way as it was in its origins.
The Tabuleiros are still carried on the heads of pretty young girls from villages and the purity and modesty of the people of our country is portrayed in the whiteness of their dresses and the simplicity of their ornaments, all the “Tabuleiros” are topped by a dove or a cross, the Holy Spirit creed.
The Trays’ Festival takes place every 4 years in the beginning of July in Tomar.