Included in S Parish. Martin in Sintra Municipality, District of Lisbon, the small village of Janas about 1000 population, has a long history linked to nature with regard to their socio-cultural and economic activity. To understand their origin we refer to the Diana cult, Roman god of the hunt and the moon, linked to forests and the protection of animals.

Usually this pagan ritual, It was performed in churches with circular layout, identical to the best-known structure and rare monument of this population and surroundings. A Chapel S.Mamede built in the century. XVI-XVII, It was erected at the place where the goddess was worshiped. Nowadays, there are religious celebrations that give continuity to the past, by connecting with popular festivals held in August. With the help of archaeological investigations at the site of Hermitage, It concludes that there is a strong relationship between the pilgrimages and their ancestral origins linked to Diana even before the presence of the Romans. Hailing from nearby regions, once Cascais Torres Vedras, peasants with their farm animals give three laps monument in the opposite direction of clockwise and as tradition dictates, deposit offerings (wheat, olive oil, barley, etc..) around the image of the patron saint of their animals, in order to receive a colored ribbons that adorn and protect during the year.

The etymological origin of Janas can be traced back to Janus, whose Roman constructions related to each other would also be of circular plant, and therefore also dedicated to Diana (with intermediate form in Jana and / or Iana). No checks. XIX, Juromenha Viscount considered the possibility of existence in the same site of a temple dedicated to Janos. This Roman god was characterized visually by two faces, They are representing the past and the future, and thus symbolized the change, as transitions, It has also given rise to the word Janeiro. Not least and not disregard is the hypothesis that "Janos" could also originate in Apollo (god of light and the sun) together with its twin sister, Diana.

Janos, Latin, "light, morning", guardian of doors, brings us to a safeguard which presents the golden age of features, peace and abundance. It was also the inventor of soil cultivation.

The main economic and cultural activity of the population of Janas has always been essentially related to the agricultural primary sector, although in recent decades it has witnessed a considerable growth of the tertiary sector, sustained by tourism, mainly by visits from Lisbon who choose this rural outskirts destined to carry your holiday. Aging, isolation and lack of birth and employment are major concerns affecting the reality of village, without increasing alternative response, due to the large emigration caused by the current crisis. However, in recent years denote are some youth movements, other country's local and foreign, who choose to have a healthier and sustainable living, trying to find this site a closer relationship with nature. The need to learn to work with greater social and cultural awareness and technical-scientific knowledge with what the earth has to give us, there is evidence of the need for survival not only economic, but also emotional. In this multicultural diversity we found a beautiful fertile ground for emerging solutions are born. We are, therefore, a time of transitions, believing in a future that takes into account the lessons of the past and that part of initiatives that take place in gifts that build hopes.



Bibliographic references

  • http://amateriadotempo.blogspot.pt/2014/04/a-capela-circular-de-janas.html
  • Cintra picturesque "_ Visconde de Juromenha (Sec.XIX)
  • Brief Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology - Silverio Benedito, Editorial Presence.

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