All the events, feasts and festivals held in Boavista have to do with the sea that surrounds the island and the music that emerges from the soul of its people. In fact, the island is known as ‘viveiro dos músicos’ (musicians’ incubator), producing one of the most iconic forms of Cape Verdean music: morna. Religious feasts and national festivities gather locals and visitors all year round.
Major events in Boavista
- 1 January – New Year in Sal Rei: The capital of the island gets all dressed up to welcome the New Year with dance in the streets until dawn. Children and adults enjoy the music and the nice ambience on this island off the coast of Senegal.
- 13 January – Democracy and Freedom’s Day: Cape Verde celebrates this national holiday with great enthusiasm, paying tribute to democracy, which is the form of government in the archipelago. Dance and fun for everyone.
- 20 January – National Heroes’ Day: One of the main feasts of the year in Boavista honours the major historical figures in the fight against colonialism and slavery. There are offerings, parades and tributes all day long on the island.
- February – Carnival in Boavista: During Carnival celebrations, the island shows its most genuine roots and spirit. Fun, fancy dresses, balls, batucada drumming at night, food and lots of music. Tuesday is the big day.
- May – Feast of the Holy Cross: The feast of the Holy Cross commemorates the end of slavery. It is celebrated across the island, but most especially in Rabil. Dance and music are the stars in the streets, which get filled with laughter, colour and joy.
- June – Feast of Santo Antonio in Boavista: On 13 June every year, locals head for Ermida, a hinterland village in Boavista, on a procession toward the Chapel of Santo Antonio, next to Ribera da Água and Povoação Velha.
- July – Boavista Day: Sports and traditional dance and music give colour and rhythm to the main feast on the island, which commemorates Saint Elizabeth. In Sal Rei, the capital, the celebrations range from religious offerings and horse races to football tournaments. There are events across the island that attract people from other islands in the archipelago and from foreign countries too.
- August – Praia d’Cruz Festival: One of the leading music festivals in Cape Verde has Praia d’Cruz as its venue. Hundreds come to this beach to dance to the rhythm of Cape Verdean, Senegalese or Brazilian music. Dozens of stalls serve regional food and beverages.