Portugal holidays 2013
Sitting in Europe’s southwestern corner, Portugal is a small European country that shares a border with only Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its location, Portugal enjoys a robust mix of different cultures that add to the country’s unique flavor and influence its national holidays.
|January 1st||New Year’s Day|
|5 weeks throughout February||Carnival|
|March 29th||Good Friday|
|April 25th||Freedom Day|
|May 1st||Labour Day|
|May 30th||Corpus Christi|
|June 1st||Azores Day|
|June 10th||Portugal Day|
|July 1st||Madeira Day|
|October 5th||Republic Day|
|November 1st||All Saints Day|
|December 1st||Restoration of Independence|
|December 8th||Immaculate Conception|
|December 25th||Christmas Day|
Strong Catholic Influence
As a result of being more or less surrounded by Spain, Portuguese holidays are strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, though there are also patriotic holidays, as well. While most countries celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, Portuguese people certainly don’t limit themselves to just the big ones and here are just a few.
- Carnival – Carnival is by no means exclusive to Portugal, though the Portuguese put their own unique spin on the 45-day long festival. Festivities can involve everything from wearing crazy masks to burning mannequins in huge bonfires.
- Assumption – Assumption celebrates the ascension of the Virgin Mary into Heaven as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. The holiday is celebrated with religious parades and some major feasting.
- All Saints Day – All Saints Day commemorates those whom are believed to have attained a perfect connection with God in Heaven. Portuguese people celebrate the holiday by giving up offerings, and many children celebrate by going door-to-door and collecting pastries and fruit.
There are other religiously themed holidays in Portugal, though the above are some of the more important ones.
Portuguese people are by are large very patriotic and justifiably proud of their native land. They enjoyed enormous global influence for nearly 600 years and converted into its current democracy after two violent revolutions in the 1900s.
With a history like that, patriotic holidays are to be expected!
- Freedom Day – Freedom Day celebrates the 2nd revolution that occurred relatively recently in 1974 and overthrew the dictatorship that had ruled for 50 years previous.
- Portugal Day – Portugal Day commemorates the death of Luís de Camões, one of Portugal’s literary icons that wrote epic poems about the country.
- Republic Day – Republic Day celebrates the end of the 1st revolution when Portugal kicked out the monarchy and switched to democracy.
There are several more nationalistic holidays, as well, though almost all of them as well as those above are celebrated the same: with generous amounts of food, fun, and fireworks.
Potuguese people enjoy a unique mix of religious and patriotic themed holidays, and, festive people that they are, certainly don’t ignore any chance to celebrate!