03 February 2020

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Easter Time in Portugal: A world of ancestral traditions!

In Easter time, the houses are clean and painted, to receive the religious small procession that carries the Cross (“Compasso”), that symbolizes the entrance of Jesus Crist in our homes, with the blessing of the priest. Families and friends get together in the main living room and kneel before the cross that is given by the priest, so they can kiss it!

At the dining table, there are sweet almonds, Easter deserts, liquors and Port wine, to offer to all the involved in the procession.

During Lent, it´s time to pray and fast. Traditionally, people avoid to eat meat on Fridays to respect Jesus that was crucified on a Friday. Sunday it´s time to celebrate! We eat roasted Lamb and baby Goat! Delicious old recipes, combined by the best wines and sweet eggy deserts!!

All over the country, different processions are on the streets!

In the city of the Archbishops – Braga – the image of the Virgin Mary is carried on a small donkey. It´s called the Small Donkey Procession. In this Historical city, Easter is celebrated with big processions and impressive celebrations on the Cathedral! This celebrations attract thousands of Tourists, and you have to book with many months in advance, to be able to stay in many of the city accommodations.

Like in Braga, also in other villages and cities, people celebrate Easter with candlelight processions that take place at night, and with theatrical representations of the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

It´s also a tradition that godfathers and godmothers, offer a cake named “Folar” to their godchild, (or a traditional sponge cake “Pão-de-ló”, sweet almonds and money). The godchild has to offer to the godmother, a flowers bouquet during Palm Sunday!

Easter it´s the time to think and to pray for Christians and Jews, but for the ones that are not religious it´s a happy time to celebrate life and spring!

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