Since the start of the Lent season, around 2.500 men go out in groups, or "ranchos," to walk around the island of São Miguel saying prayers until Easter. A kind of Catholic pilgrimage, the Romarias are a tradition on the island and the local population will open their doors for Romeiros that pass by offering food and shelter.
Silently, the men usually walk for a week, always with the sea to their left side, wearing their shawls and scarfs, keeping their rosary on hands and carrying a bag for food and water. They stop on their way to respectfully sing and pray, passing by the main churches of São Miguel.
An old tradition that is believed to have began in the 16th century after a series of volcanic eruptions, men from all ages come from all over the Azores to pray for the island to be safe and check all the coastal towns.