Chamarita

ambience: Organ music, church ceremony

Chamorita is an Azorean Portuguese festival held yearly in places like Half Moon Bay, California. It commemorates the perseverance of a people, with help from a queen named Isabel. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Going back several centuries ago, there was a violent earthquake on the Azores Islands. The hardest hit areas suffered immensely. Robert Fernandez, past President of the Brotherhood of the Divine Holy Spirit explains what happened next.

“In late medieval Europe, the Portuguese had a queen by the name of Isabel, who was a very saintly woman — who loved the poor, gave away bread and that to feed the hungry. In fact, later, after her death, canonized as a saint by the Catholic church. She used to, on occasion as a sign of submission to God, carry her crown though the streets in a procession to the cathedral and have a mass said. After her death, the people commemorated this on special occasions. Either men or women, would carry a crown through the streets and go to the church and pray and have a mass. It happened there was a big earthquake in the islands. There was famine. There was no help in site. People were in bad shape. And it was on Pentecost Sunday — they had a procession through the streets carrying a crown, to pray for deliverance from their problem — and ships appeared that day with food, and everyone was fed.”

So now for over one hundred and twenty years on the seventh Sunday after Easter – Pentecost Sunday – to reenact Isabel’s famous walk to the church, a queen is chosen from the Half Moon Bay community. Hundreds gather to attend mass, and to perform the Chamorita folk dance, which gives the festival its name.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Chamarita

In honor of Azorean Portuguese ancestors and a beloved queen, the festival of Chamarita is one of humble origin.
Air Date:05/25/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:

ambience: Organ music, church ceremony

Chamorita is an Azorean Portuguese festival held yearly in places like Half Moon Bay, California. It commemorates the perseverance of a people, with help from a queen named Isabel. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Going back several centuries ago, there was a violent earthquake on the Azores Islands. The hardest hit areas suffered immensely. Robert Fernandez, past President of the Brotherhood of the Divine Holy Spirit explains what happened next.

"In late medieval Europe, the Portuguese had a queen by the name of Isabel, who was a very saintly woman -- who loved the poor, gave away bread and that to feed the hungry. In fact, later, after her death, canonized as a saint by the Catholic church. She used to, on occasion as a sign of submission to God, carry her crown though the streets in a procession to the cathedral and have a mass said. After her death, the people commemorated this on special occasions. Either men or women, would carry a crown through the streets and go to the church and pray and have a mass. It happened there was a big earthquake in the islands. There was famine. There was no help in site. People were in bad shape. And it was on Pentecost Sunday -- they had a procession through the streets carrying a crown, to pray for deliverance from their problem -- and ships appeared that day with food, and everyone was fed."

So now for over one hundred and twenty years on the seventh Sunday after Easter - Pentecost Sunday - to reenact Isabel's famous walk to the church, a queen is chosen from the Half Moon Bay community. Hundreds gather to attend mass, and to perform the Chamorita folk dance, which gives the festival its name.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music