~ Fiesta San
Festival Date - 23 to 29 JUN 2012
Fiesta San Pedro is a week
long celebration filled with colour, pomp, gaiety and fun for the
Portuguese Eurasian community of Malacca to commemorate the feast of
St. Peter which is observed on June 29.
Visitors and foreign tourists come to Melaka to join-in the 3,000-odd residents in
songs, dances, fun fairs, game stalls, the decorated boat festival
and the solemn procession of the statue of St. Peter. The annual
fiesta, from June 24 to 29, held since the settlement’s founding in
the l930s, is the only carnival celebrated by the local
The fiesta observes the feast of St. Peter the patron saint of
fishermen. Its special position in the community dates back to the
days when fishing was the main livelihood of the settlement’s
residents and those living at Praya Lane and Kampong Bandar Hilir.
Back in the l930s and l940s, practically three-quarter of the
settlement’s adult population were involved in the fishing industry
either directly or indirectly. With the catch becoming less
plentiful, there are now only about
l5 - 20 diehards who continue to fish.
The highlight of the fiesta is the religious facets. Following the
Eucharistic celebration on the actual feast day, the blessing of the
decorated boats, where candles were lighted, is the main focus. For
the fishermen, the lit candles signify the Light of Christ who
guides them through the storms of life whether at sea or land in
their journey home.
The blessing of the boats and procession where the statue of St.
Peter is carried around the settlement demonstrates the request for
God’s grace for a bigger and better catch for fishermen who depend
on the sea for their livelihood.
The Settlement itself is tightly knit and holding out against
outside influences but retaining age-old traditions, rituals,
customs, practices and lifestyle dating back some 500 years ago.
Besides the fiesta, other celebrations kept alive include Intrudo
(water festival), Holy Week traditions and Bong Natal (Christmas).
Melaka - information - details -