Portuguese Festa: Celebrating Tradition

September marks the annual Our Lady of Miracles Festa celebration in Gustine, California. The tradition of festas was brought to America by the Portuguese who immigrated here primarily from the Azores and Madeira Islands. Combining religious symbolism and history with social events they are observed in Portuguese American communities throughout California, Hawaii and New England. Featuring traditions of food, music and costume the festivities last several days. The photo is a detail of American Russell Lee's (1903-1986) image from a 1942 Festa of the Holy Ghost in Santa Clara, California of a Festa Queen and her court. Depicting Portuguese jewelry and costume of the Minho region is Auguste Racinet's late nineteenth century book, Le Costume Historique. The Laura Costa illustration of Azorian costume is a part of a Portuguese mid-twentieth century sewing machine promotion that documented national and colonial costumes.