Origin of Romaria a Cavalo Moita – Viana do Alentejo
The Pilgrimage on Horseback that connects the counties of Moita and Viana do Alentejo is a common tradition to the two counties that dates from the last century and is one of the largest national equestrian events. After an interregnum of over seventy years, the tradition was resumed in 2001, taking place on the fourth Sunday of April.
At that time, Moita’s farmers moved to the Nossa Senhora D’Aires Sanctuary with their animals, making the route through the old Canada Real, through farms and dirt roads, to be blessed and to ask good crops.
For four days, hundreds of pilgrims from various parts of the country and abroad, travel around 150 kilometers that connect the two counties across the fields, behind the carriage carrying the image of N.ª Sr.ª da Boa Viagem, patron of Moita, which joins, on arrival in Viana do Alentejo, in the image of N.ª Sr.ª D’Aires.
Besides of the religious character that is in the genesis of the contest, Pilgrimage nowadays takes on a more playful side that privileges the conviviality among the participants. An event that combines faith with a unique atmosphere and camaraderie.
Promoted by an organizing committee, made up of the Municipalities of Moita and Viana do Alentejo, by the Association of Romeiros da Tradição Moitense and the Equestrian Association of Viana do Alentejo, the Pilgrimage on Horseback Moita – Viana do Alentejo was distinguished in 2011 with the “Mais Alentejo” award, in the category “Mais Tradição” and, in 2013, won an honorable mention, in the events category, of the “Turismo do Alentejo” Awards.