Império do Espírito Santo de São Mateus da Calheta

The Império do Espírito Santo de São Mateus, is located in the parish of São Mateus da Calheta, municipality of Angra do Heroísmo, located in the place of Terreiro of the aforementioned parish, next to the current road, at the intersection with Canada do Capitão-mor.

The year of its construction, visible on the frontispiece of the building, dates back to the 19th century, namely, 1873. However, this date refers to its reconstruction, as the same, in 1855, was hit and destroyed by a strong storm, fact that proves that its foundation is previous, being, therefore, the creation of the oldest fraternity. Next to this property there is a pantry to support the activities carried out by the brotherhood and which also serves as a storage space for crockery, tables, benches, etc.

This empire celebrates the feast of worship to the Divine Holy Spirit on Pentecost and Trinity Sundays, around the two Bodos, the first being called Earth and the second, Sea.

The Festas do Divino Espírito Santo are constituted by their own brotherhood, but the Empire is home to two festivals: the first takes place on the days of the first bodo – that of Earth – the second takes place, on the days of the second bodo – that of Sea. On the so-called Bodo da Terra, that is, on Pentecost Sunday, the procession of the Empire leaves for the parish church, where there is a festive coronation mass, after which the procession returns to the aforementioned property. Next, the bodo, bread and wine are distributed among those present. Once this act is over, the butler is chosen for the following year, who, in turn, appoints the commission that will work with him in organizing the bodo for the new year. At this time, and on the previous Saturday, the brothers pay the brotherhoods and, at night, the piles are extracted for the new year. In the afternoon, there is a fair with a philharmonic concert, a bazaar, auctions and a lively gathering with snacks, sovada dough, wine, drained fava beans, lupins, etc., among the people present in the terreiro.

As part of the so-called “Bodo da Terra” programme, two rope bullfights are held: one on the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday, and another on the following Wednesday. Those responsible for carrying out “Bodo do Mar” also give a rope bullfight on the first Wednesday ahead of Trinity Sunday.


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