Imagine yourself walking down the streets of Portugal, coffee in one hand, and shopping bag in the other.
As you make your way down the blazing hot street, you silently wish for shade.
Then, suddenly out of nowhere, your wish is granted.
Above your head floats an array of brightly colored umbrellas, each one a burst of shady relief.
If you happen to wander down the right streets in Portugal during the month of July, this very well could happen.
After all, hundreds of balloons are hoisted high above the city streets, providing shade and an amazing sight that evokes a careful, child-like energy.
Every July hundreds of umbrellas float above select streets in Agueda, Portugal. No, Marry Poppins is not hanging from the umbrella handles.
When looking up from the ground the umbrellas appear to be floating all on their own. Just 3 years ago the first umbrellas ever were hoisted above popular streets as part of the ongoing Ágitagueda art festival.
At this time, photographer Patrícia Almeida used her impressive photography skills to capture photos of the city shaded by vibrant umbrellas.
These photos sparked wonder and awe as they rapidly spread around online and in print. Since then Agueda has drawn numerous visitors each July, and the art event has earned world fame.
Each year more and more people come to see the umbrella display with their own eyes. Patricia Almeida easily understands why, photographing the umbrellas was a sheer delight. She says about the picturesque display, “I felt like a kid, amazed by all of that color.”
Since the umbrellas are hung in accordance with the Ágitagueda art festival, there are other artistic sights to visit simultaneously. Concerts and art exhibits are routinely on display; you may visit them all, taking solace in the shade of the brightly colored umbrellas as your travel to and from.
The art group responsible for providing the intriguing umbrella display goes by the name, Sextafeira Producoesis. Every year the team thinks up ways to change the scenery a little bit.
In the previous year the umbrellas were darker in color and focused on primary colors, but this year we witness lighter tones. No matter the changes each year holds, the umbrellas are fun to look at it, and they are also much appreciated in July under the heat of the sun.
It’s not just tourists that enjoy the excitement of the umbrella canopies. Without the umbrellas the streets are pretty but plain, and so the art festival brings a refreshing pop of diversity and color to the area.
Some apartment window seals adorned in sweet flowers look down at the umbrella collection, providing the feeling of excitement associated with any holiday. After all, the everyday sights these locals see outside of their window has changed into a blanket of colors.
The locals also enjoy getting their summer shopping done under a bright canopy of refreshing shade. If you have the luck of traveling upstairs to one of the apartments overlooking the umbrellas, you will see that a thin string runs between the umbrellas in order to hold them up. With or without string, the umbrellas appear magical.
Imagine roaming beneath a vast ray of colors, keeping safe from the sun without having to hold up your own umbrella! The city of Agueda can truly make you feel like a kid again throughout the month of July. The umbrellas and art exhibits are held near the heart of the city where many shops, cafes, and restaurants are conveniently located.
Image Credits: Fanfare Ciocarlia, Marilyn Marques, Antonio Sardinha, Patricia Almeida, Cristina Ferreira, Patricia Almeida, Sextafeira Producoes, Marilyn Marques, Cristina Ferreira