Saturday, September 18, 2021

Festivals & Holidays in Portugal

EuropePortugalFestivals & Holidays in Portugal

Holidays in Portugal

DateEnglish namePortuguese nameNotes
1 JanuarySolemnity of Mary, Mother of GodSolenidade de Santa Maria, Mãe de Deus
mobileCarnivalCarnivalCarnival in Portugal is an annual celebration that ends on Shrove Tuesday (called Fat Tuesday in Madeira – Terça-feira Gorda in Portuguese), the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). It is an optional holiday, although it is usually observed. 47 days before Easter Sunday.
mobileGood FridaySexta-feira SantaFriday before Easter Sunday
mobileEasterDomingo de PáscoaSunday, the date varies.
25 aprilFreedom DayDia da LiberdadeCelebrate the 1974 coup d’état that ended the dictatorship and introduced democracy.
1 MayLabour DayDia do TrabalhadorSimilar to Labour Day, which is celebrated all over the world.
mobileCorpus Christi (Feast)Corpo de DeusThursday, the date varies. 60 days after Easter Sunday. It is based on religion.
1 JuneAzores DayDia dos AzoresCelebrated in the Azores
10 JunePortugal DayPortugal, Camões and the Day of Portuguese CommunitiesNational Day
1 JulyMadeira DayDia da MadeiraCelebrated on Madeira Island
15 AugustHypothesisAssumption of the Virgin MaryA religious account of Mary’s Assumption.
5 OctoberRepublic DayImplementation of the RepublicCelebrates the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the Portuguese Republic
1 NovemberAll Saints’ DayDia de Todos-os-SantosIn the spirit of Christian occidental theology, the feast commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven.
1 DecemberRestoration of independenceRestoration of independenceCelebrates the end of the Philippine dynasty (1580-1640)
8 DecemberImmaculate ConceptionImmaculate ConceptionAccording to Roman Catholic dogma, the conception of the Virgin Mary is without any stain of original sin
25 DecemberChristmas DayNatal
Boxing DayBoxing DaySegunda OitavaThe “Segunda Oitava” is part of the centuries-old Christmas celebrations in Madeira, which have been recognised as a public holiday by the regional government of Madeira.

Revoked holidays in 2013–2015

In 2012, the coalition government of Pedro Passos Coelho controversially abolished four public holidays: two civil holidays (Republic Day and the Restoration of Independence) and two religious holidays (Corpus Christi and All Saints’ Day). This measure came into effect from 2013 and was presented as a measure to increase productivity in the 2011-2014 Troika bailout programme for Portugal (although this measure was never called for in the MoU). For religious holidays, a public debate and re-evaluation was foreseen in 2018.

The four holidays were finally reinstated by António Costa’s government in January 2016.

Local holidays

DateEnglish namePortuguese nameNotes
19 MarchSt Joseph’s DayDia de São JoséCelebrated in Santarém
13 JuneSt. Anthony’s DayDia de Santo AntónioCelebrated in Lisbon, where the Marchas take place on Avenida da Liberdade, a parade of folklore and costumes from different traditional parts of the city, with hundreds of singers and dancers and a large audience applauding their favourite participants. As Saint Anthony is the holy matchmaker, it is still a tradition in Lisbon to celebrate several marriages (200 to 300).
24 JuneMidsummer’s DayDia de São JoãoThere are celebrations in Porto, Braga, Figueira da Foz and Almada. Porto and Braga celebrate with a big party and fireworks on the Douro River (in Porto) and on the Avenida da Liberdade (in Braga). Everywhere in the country, a traditional bonfire is also lit in the middle of summer and, according to an old pagan tradition, revelers try to jump over the fire to protect themselves for the rest of the year.
29 JuneSt. Peter’s DayDia de São PedroCelebrated in Alfândega da Fé, Bombarral, Castro Daire, Castro Verde, Évora, Felgueiras, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Montijo, Penedono, Porto de Mós, Póvoa de Varzim, Ribeira Brava, Ribeira Grande, São Pedro do Sul, Seixal and Sintra. Like Saint Anthony’s Day and Saint John’s Day, Saint Peter’s Day is also celebrated with a traditional bonfire in the middle of summer, over which people jump and perform a tradition known as “Queimar a Alcachofra” (Burning the Artichoke), symbolising the “good that is done”.
4 JulySt. Elizabeth’s DayDia de Santa IsabelCelebrated in Coimbra
21 SeptemberSt Matthew’s DayDia de São MateusCelebrated in Viseu, and in Elvas