Festa Bedju (1)

 

Adam with our host mom and host dad and our host half-sister, at their house during our host community's festa.

Adam with our host mom and host dad and our host half-sister, at their house during our host community’s festa.

Making dumplings with our host family. Yum.

Making dumplings with our host family. Yum.

It’s festa (party) season in Cape Verde—the time of year when every town holds a giant street party in celebration of itself and its patron saint, and every household opens its doors to friends and family who come from all over the island to visit and celebrate. Every household cooks up a giant pot of food, stocks up on drinks and feeds everyone who passes through. The county government organizes free live music on stage in the middle of town and for the bigger parties, a big tent with a DJ. Plus, community organizations hold parties in other locations throughout town. The revelry lasts for several days without end: high schoolers stay up all night with their parents listening to the music, men young and old think nothing of going 36 or 48 hours without sleeping, and women cook up batch after batch of pork and beans and katxupa around the clock. Festa bedju literally means “old party,” but in practice it’s just a great party. I wish I were there to celebrate once more, so in honor of the season, I thought I’d share some pictures of last year’s parties.

You have to be careful how much you eat at each house, without offending the host, since you're going to have to eat at every house. Everyone knows how it is, but that's no excuse for refusing the food!

At our favorite language teacher’s house. You have to be careful how much you eat at each house, without offending the host, since you’re going to have to eat at every house. Everyone knows how it is, but that’s no excuse for refusing the food!

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