Dance of São Gonçalo
The worship of Portuguese Saint Gonçalo, patron saint of marriageable women, was introduced to Brazil in the 18th century together with the dance named after him. The story is that when he was living he would convert people by using the viola, dance and merriment. In Brazil, the dance of St. Gonçalo has spread. It is danced as payment for requests in marriage, finding a missing person and curing ailments, which reinforces the sacred symbolism of the celebration. In some places there are two different images of St. Gonçalo: one as a priest and the other as a viola player. Also, during the festivity held before the altar, it is typical and traditional to dance with the saint’s image.