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The Sharing and Tradition of the Charola
Contributed by Sandy Sakai

Historically many of the Portuguese farmers earned their livelihood by tilling the soil and selling their crops. The farmer paid for his personal expenses with the harvest from the land. The harvest was presented in an elaborate and festive fashion by creating a wire form, the “Charola” to which fruit, eggs, and wine was attached with string macramé and designed in round circles on the frame. The larger amount owed, the larger the “Charola.” Donations to churches were also made with a “Charola” particularly during the "Holy Ghost Feasts." During the year, the farmer would promise a “Charola” to the "Holy Ghost" (God) if he had a bountiful crop. The larger the crop, the larger the "Charola.”

The tradition of making a “Charola” to hang in a place of honor during the “Holy Ghost Feasts” was brought to Hawaii by the Portuguese immigrants who came to Hawaii over one hundred years ago.

The Fruit of the Charola is God’s gift to Man
The Eggs are the Symbol of Life
The Wine is the Joy of Living

This with the multiple colors, is the happiness, the joy and the long life of our land -- Portugal!

Obtained as a handout at Festa by the Hawaii Council on Portuguese Heritage

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