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The Fourth of July on Boa Vista, Cape Verde

BVC, Boa Vista

Boa Vista's most important festival of the year occurs on the fourth of July with the Municipal Day celebration. Also known as the Day of Saint Isabel, the festival centres around the patron saint of this tiny island in the Atlantic and provides a variety of activities, many of them secular in nature. In addition to a ceremonial mass honouring the saint, known locally as Santa Isabel, tourists can also enjoy football competitions, dancing, and cultural events celebrating the Portuguese heritage of Cape Verde, the island chain nation that includes Boa Vista. Many Portuguese make Cape Verde their destination during this exciting time.

Most of Municipal Day's events take place in the town of Sal Rei, and each year the festival begins with a procession of boats in the bay bordering the town. The boats closely approach landfall at Saint Barbara and Ka Santana before the procession becomes land-based, with the local parish priest leading people toward the Catholic church in Sal Rei. Tourists and locals alike sing and pray as the procession makes its towards its destination of the church for the mass.