It was the Amigos Portugueses fourth annual festival, held at the Portuguese Club on Sunday 6 December in Cape Town with a record amount of 3000 visitors. This festival is also known as Natal de Criancas and also celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception which is celebrated worldwide on the 8th December each year.
The day began with Holy Mass celebrated at 10H00 by Father Roman Viveros in honour of our Lady of Immaculate Conception. A beautiful procession was held where the statue of Our Lady was carried by members of the Amigos Portugueses in the vicinity of the Portuguese Club with the congregation in tow.
Upon entering the festival, one could be forgiven for thinking that you were at a festa somewhere in Portugal. The smell, noise and atmosphere was fantastic with traditional food stalls and the beer garden strategically placed. Bolo do Caco, espetada, pasteis de natas, pregos, malasadas were just a few of the Portuguese delicacies on offer. The Poncha Bar proved to be a popular retreat for many! Senior citizens over the age of 65 were given complimentary food and drink vouchers.
There was a massive stage for music artists and performers. Jose Fernandes from the U.S.A, Kanimambo, DJ AP and several other artists kept the enthusiastic crowd on their toes. The youngest performing artist was 11 years old!
The Consul General of Portugal in Cape Town, Dr. Catarina Arruda, attended the festivities as well as other prominent dignitaries. Various Portuguese organizations in Cape Town were represented at the festival showing the strong union the Portuguese community has in Cape Town.
Various motorbike chapters from Cape Town attended the festival offering their support for the Amigos Portugueses and the Portuguese culture. Visiting motorbike chapters each received a complimentary Amigos Portugueses 2015 badge.
A mini soccer tournament was held for the young boys of the community. The competition was fierce but a fantastic time was had by all involved.
The highlight of the festival is the celebration of Natal de Crianca where Father Christmas arrives at the festival on his Harley Davidson and distributes free gifts to all the children present at the festival.
Speaking to the President of the Amigos Portugueses, Carlos de Aguiar, he mentioned that this year’s festival was a success and broke all previous records. He stated that several welfare and community projects will benefit from this festival with his drive still firmly in place to maximize the social responsibility of the Amigos Portugueses. He went on to say that the Amigos Portugueses Motorbike Chapter has gone national in South Africa with an active chapter already in Rustenburg. Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bethel and Mozambique are close to being formalized.