The big event of the year is the pilgrimage-cum-carnival known as the Romaria de Nossa Senhora d’Agonía – dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. It lasts for several days over the nearest weekend to August 20, and is held in huge esteem by the locals who offer “um abraço dos Vianenses” (a big hug from the Vianense) to anyone who makes the effort to come.
Events kick off with a religious procession on the Friday, complete with carpets of flowers, while the Saturday sees a more carnival-like atmosphere with a no-holds-barred parade of decorated floats, local villagers in traditional costume and exuberant townsfolk. The blessing of the fishing boats on Monday morning is rather moving, when women in the fishing quarter, east of the centre, decorate their streets and bestow good wishes upon the fleet. And into the mix you can add gigantones (carnival giants) at every turn, plus bands, concerts and dances, and spectacular nightly firework displays.