Legend of Belisandra
The people of Castelo Novo tell about a young girl named Belisandra who lived there. Accused of sorcery, she lived alone, with only a cat for company. Whenever Belisandra went to the village, she had to face the mocking laughter and scorn of the inhabitants of Castelo Novo. The truth is that, in moments of affliction, many of them turned to Belisandra, but secretly. One day, when the people were preparing to harvest the fruit of their labour in the fields, they saw a thick cloud come up in the sky that almost blocked out the sun. Suddenly, they realised that it was a plague of grasshoppers. Desperate, and for the first time, the inhabitants of Castelo Novo joined together to ask Belisandra for help. To everyone’s surprise, the young girl counselled them to make a procession to the Senhor da Misericórdia, as only he could help them. The people followed her advice and made the procession. According to the legend, the procession was still in the church yard and the grasshoppers were dropping dead. The people then promised to make a procession every year, and they kept their promise, because even today they still observe that tradition on the first Sunday of September.