Find Your Folklife – Savana Manha
The Holy Ghost Festa…
… is a beloved tradition for people of Azorean descent. It started with Queen Isabel of Portugal who asked her subjects to mark it as a day of thanksgiving. Each year our Festa Queen places her crown on the altar as an offering. The procession includes the queen’s guard, St. Anthony, the rosary, and the Virgin Mother.
I knew the whole time I was growing up that I was going to end up being the Festa Queen one day. My dad and uncle participated as guards and flag holders, but I’m the first girl to be born in our family in over 80 years, so I’m honored to be the first in the Manha family to serve as the senior queen. “Don’t slouch. Keep your shoulders up.” I can hear my mom saying that in my head.
My Portuguese heritage originated from the Flores Islands off the coast of Portugal. My great-grandparents came to the United States in 1917 and moved in 1940 to Stillwater, here in Fallon, and bought a ranch hoping to become farmers. Our family has called this home ever since.
—Savana Manha, Portuguese Pentecostal Festa, Fallon