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May dolls in Sagres

About a hundred “Maya” which is a spring tradition, are placed in various locations in the municipality of Vila do Bispo until 31st May.

This tradition is based on the placement of dolls, hand-crafted by the people in various places, especially at the door of the houses.

The dolls are puppets of white rags, old clothes and adorned with flowers of the field that are created to celebrate the arrival of the month of May and spring. They are accompanied by verses or sayings or social criticism jokes. They are presented on 1 May.

This initiative organized by the Municipality of Vila do Bispo in collaboration with the Santa Casa da Vila do Bispo and the county population aims to not let die a tradition over 2000 years. It is recalled that this tradition originated in the festivities and traditions of the ancient Romans.

Spread all over Portugal, this tradition is well rooted in the Algarve, in the municipalities of Olhão, Faro, Monchique, Lagos and Vila do Bispo – here, especially in the town of Raposeira.

The dolls are best know of the meaning of change, in passing, a new beginning and a new high point of time, so that the spring needs to be remembered and celebrated by people.

The dolls (Mays / Maya) are placed at various sites and places. Some seem to have had a magical meaning, wonder or evil or to draw good luck. ”

Where the Mayans are exposed:


  1. Centro de Saúde; 2. Mercado Municipal: Talho; 3. Rua do Mercado; 4. Clube Recreativo Infante Sagres;5. Junta de Freguesia; 6. Farmácia;7. Igreja; 8. Lar de Sagres; 9. Escola Básica 1.º Ciclo; 10. Intermarché Sagres; 11. Pastelaria Pinóquio; 12. Clínica Médica e Dentária; 13. Pastelaria Vila Mareta;14. Jardim de Infância; 15. Rua Pedra da Bala; 16. Rotunda Roça de Veiga

Vila do Bispo

  1. Câmara Municipal de Vila do Bispo; 18. Centro Cultural – 19. Bombeiros; 20. Farmácia; 21. Supermercado SuperSul 2; 22. Centro de Convívio; 23. Centro de Saúde; 24. Mercado Municipal; 25. Centro de Interpretação; 26. Igreja; 27. Junta de Freguesia; 28. Escola Básica 2.º e 3.º Ciclo; 29. Escola Básica 1.º Ciclo; 30. Jardim de Infância; 31. CPCJ – Rua José Cardoso; 32. Vivenda Família Pedro; 33. Rua Ribeira do Poço; 34. Rua Ribeira do Poço; 35. Retrosaria Paula Rio


  1. Associação Desportiva e Cultural da Raposeira; 37. Supermercado SuperSul 1; 38. Jardim em frente à Igreja; 39. Igreja; 40. Centro de Dia