So while May is a terrible month in terms of school work, I actually found the time to finally visit my cousin in the academic town of Coimbra.
I had promised him I would go there for a couple of years now, but May is always difficult.
And why did I have to go there in May? Well, Coimbra is kind of known for what happens there at this time of the year.
Let me back up a little.
Coimbra is a beautiful city that once was the country’s capital, but that nowadays is very well-known for its University. The first University of Portugal was first set up here, and having been established there since 1537, it makes it one of the oldest in Europe.
A university with almost 500 years means tradition. A lot of tradition.
The city is mainly a student town, which makes it one of the best places to study in Portugal. The spirit is amazing, and everyone loves it.
The students wear the typical academic clothes with pride – the Traje, and go through a lot of Praxes.
The Praxe is when older students initiate freshmen with a lot of games, and to be honest, a lot of drinking. They sometimes have to do push ups, or go on a drinking rally around the many bars of the city. There are a tone of rules, that to be honest, only they really know, and they have to do it all if they wish to dress the Traje and be the ones doing the Praxe next year.
I think every Student should go there at least once. Queima das Fitas – the festival’s name, is a week-long celebration that is unique and lot of fun.
Of course I only had a couple of days to go, and chose the parade day to arrive – the Cortejo. This is when the third year students go on floating cars handing out beer, it is the highlight of the festival, mainly because of free booze, and the fact that they made it a tradition to pour beer down everyone.
I wanted to take my camera, but everyone told me that bringing it would mean heartbreak after a ruined camera. Too afraid to lose my precious camera I was not about to miss a good chance to take good pictures, so I decided to buy one of those disposable film cameras making my photos diferent and fun.
The festival did not disappoint and if I get the chance, I’ll try to make it there next year as well, with hopefully more than two days to spare! And who knows, maybe I’ll take my camera then.
Feel free to click on the images bellow, to see them full siz and read the captions!