In a secluded valley in the Serra da Sao Mamede, Alto Alentejo, Portugal.

The Marvao Chestnut Fair (Feira da Castanha / Festa do Castanheiro).

In November the hilltop village of Marvao comes alive with the activity of the chestnut festival. Held over a weekend, the village is packed to capacity with young and old. Chestnuts are roasted, the new vintage of local wine is sampled, street entertainers perform, and there is traditional singing and dancing in the street. The local restaurants use chestnuts in all their recipies both savoury and sweet.

The Marvao Chestnut Fair

In the first or second weekend of November each year Marvao is transformed from its normal peace and eerie tranquility to become vibrantly bustling with traditional music, dance, street performers in medieval dress, the new vintage of local wine and of course chestnuts - in probably Portugal's biggest celebration of the chestnut tree. In a week of chestnut gastronomy that includes a myriad of sugar sweet chestnut delights.

The best chestnuts in Portugal grow here in the hills of the Serra de Sao Mamede and people travel from all over the country to taste the many chestnut dishes available at the restaurants around Marvao in competition to serve the best.

In all the streets of the village and the plaza below the castle will be found local crafts (artesanato) of the region. Sweet shops selling local confection and liquors of apricot, blackberry, cinnamon, chestnut, coriander, fig, nut, pennyroyal and cherry brandy (ginjinha) and "scalded" candies and maize cakes of honey and nuts. All characteristic of the Alto Alentejo region. Also bread, chouriço, green chestnut broth, sweet chestnut rice served by the volunteer firemen.

Brings tears to yer eyes
Street entertainment at dusk, before the big party Traditional songs
Jugglers and traditional music Crazy madcap comics
Procession Almonds, chestnuts and walnuts

Pictures of Marvao Chestnut Festival Alentejo, Portugal.