Thousands of people filled the streets of Braga this Wednesday to watch the biblical parade “You will be my people”, known as the Procissão da Burrinha, one of the main moments of the Holy Week programme.
For the first time in these wanderings, the mule Andorinha was guided by Clemente Alves, who for 25 years has assumed the role of Saint Joseph and “commander” of the animal, which carries the image of Our Lady and stands out as the protagonist of the procession.
“During the procession, there’s no point in talking to me, because I take this very seriously and I’m just focused on things going well”, Clemente assured JN.
With a lot of people at the window, the spectators concentrated mainly in the Avenida Central area, but many of them also gathered in the churchyard and in the surroundings of the Church of São Victor, from where the procession left.
Braga’s “strong brand”
It was there that Natália Santos waited for her seven-year-old son, one of the approximately 800 extras in the procession, to leave the interior of the church and take his position, in one of the 23 biblical paintings represented.
“I usually attend this procession, but this one has a special flavor, because for the first time my son will participate as an extra”, explained the Braga native, to JN, considering that Holy Week “says a lot to those who are Christians”.
“In addition, it is a very strong brand of Braga, which attracts people from here and many tourists”, he stressed.
For the first time attending the Donkey Procession was Mário Gomes, a Luso-Venezuelan, son of Portuguese parents who emigrated to Venezuela in the 1950s.
“I returned to Portugal a month before the pandemic started, at the beginning of 2020, and I haven’t returned since. I’m currently living in Braga and I’m discovering these celebrations. I’ve already attended the Procession of Passos [no domingo] and I liked it a lot”, he guaranteed.
For this Wednesday’s procession, in addition to wanting to see the donkey, Mário was also attracted by the “curiosity” of observing how the different biblical events would be portrayed. “I think it is an excellent initiative”, he underlined.
The procession left the Church of São Victor and continued along Avenida Central to Largo de São Francisco, along Rua dos Capelistas to Jardim de Santa Bárbara and returned along Rua do Souto, returning to the starting point.