Hispanic Division: Back to Agricultural Settlements in Central California

The Festival of the Holy Ghost in Santa Clara

A very important feature of the Portuguese-American cultural and community activities, is the celebration of religious-social festivals or "festas." The Festa do Espírito Santo, a festival held every year in honor of the Holy Ghost, is perhaps the most important religious event for Azorean communities, both on the islands and in the United States. The festivities are elaborate and include a parade; the choosing of a queen, who is crowned by the previous year's queen; and the distribution of food to the poor or a community banquet. Shown here is a queen and her maids in front of an altar in the Sociedade do Espírito Santo hall in Santa Clara, another agricultural community at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay.
Queen Geraldine Vierra
Russell Lee. Queen Geraldine Vierra . . . of the festa of the Holy Ghost, Santa Clara, California, May 1942. Photograph. Prints and Photographs Division, U.S. Office of War Information, LC-USW-3-4596-D (21).

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The Festival of the Holy Ghost in Santa Clara, California

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