Pirenópolis is famous for performing the story of Festa do Divino Espírito Santo, a tradition begun in 1818 and more popularly known as As Cavalhadas. Starting 50 days after Easter, for three days the town looks like a scene from the Middle Ages as it celebrates Charlemagne’s victory over the Moors. The festival is a happy one, and more folkloric than religious. If you’re in the neighborhood, make a point of seeing this stunning and curious spectacle, one of Brazil's most fascinating.
A series of medieval tournaments, dances and festivities, including a mock battle between the Moors and Christians in distant Iberia, takes place. Combatants ride decorated horses, kitted out in bright costumes and bull-head masks. The Moors are defeated on the battlefield and convert to Christianity, ‘proving’ that heresy doesn’t pay in the end.