Zenfolio | Gary Schatan Photographer | Chamarita festival

Chamarita ~ Ghost Festival 2011

Spectators lined Half Moon Bay’s Main street Sunday morning to catch a glimpse of some dazzling queens and participate in the 140th Portuguese Chamarita or Holy Ghost Festival organized by the I.D.E.S. Society. The festival is rooted in religion and Portuguese culture.

In the 14th century, several violent earthquakes struck the Azores leaving a famine to sweep across the islands. Queen Isabel of Portugal, known for her charitable works and devotion to God, relieved the famine by sending provisions to the suffering. With this, she began a tradition of feeding and honoring the poor that is still practiced by Portuguese communities throughout the globe.

Now a days the young Queens of Half Moon Bay, California and surrounding Bay Area communities walk the parade route as a reminder to care for all in the community, regardless of social status or income.