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Portuguese Holidays

The Portuguese calendar has several holidays and holiday periods throughout the year. Holiday can have two meanings in Portuguese:

  • o feriado Play normal audio holiday – A public holiday, or day to celebrate something of specific cultural or religious importance at a local or national level.
  • férias paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio holiday, holidays, vacation – A planned period of time off work or school. Férias are often scheduled around important feriados.

Some of the Main Holidays in Portugal

Date / Time of Year Holiday
1 de janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January 1st Ano Novo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio New Year's
fevereiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio February Carnaval paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Carnival, Mardi Gras
Friday before Easter Sexta-feira Santa paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Good Friday
março paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio March or abril paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio April Páscoa paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Easter
25 de abril paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio April 25th Dia da Liberdade paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio National Freedom Day
1 de maio paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio May 1st Dia do Trabalhador paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Labor Day
60 days after Easter Corpo de Deus paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Corpus Christi
10 de junho paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio June 10th Dia de Portugal paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Portugal Day
5 de outubro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio October 5th Implantação da República paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Republic Day
1 de novembro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio November 1st Dia de Todos-os-Santos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio All Saints' Day
1 de dezembro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio December 1st Restauração da Independência paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Restoration of Independence
25 de dezembro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio December 25th o Natal paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Christmas

Date Format

In Portuguese, the structure of dates is dia de mês de ano (day of month of year), and the numbers are typically cardinal, not ordinal. That means that you say um de janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January one instead of primeiro de janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January first. You may have also noticed that the names of the months and days of the week are not capitalized in Portuguese, as they are in English.
In written form, dates appear as dd/mm/yyyy or dd/mm/yy. Talking about holidays is a great way to practice saying dates and memorizing the days of the week and the months:
O desfile de Carnaval é na próxima terça-feira à tarde. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The Carnival parade is next Tuesday afternoon.
O domingo de Páscoa é esta semana. Boa Páscoa! paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Easter Sunday is this week. Happy Easter!
Houve fogo de artifício na noite de 10 de junho. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio There were fireworks on the evening of June 10.

Comments

  • I really appreciate the cultural, religious and other Portuguese facts provided in these sections. They help with understanding Portugal’s way of life, and the translations as stated give good opportunity to discuss with local Portuguese people.
    I am loving the units and shorties. I highly recommend my fellow ex-pats to use this website.
    Thanks again

  • In Canada, we usually call periods away from work vacations, and holidays are the special days themselves. There is lots of crossover, however. To go on vacation, of course, involves travel.

    • Yes I think Canada and the U.S. treat the word “holiday” the same way, with it referring to a day when something specific is being celebrated, like a religious or national holiday, and “vacation” referring to the period of time when you’re off school/work (e.g. summer vacation) or traveling somewhere (e.g. going on vacation). In the UK, however, going on holiday could refer to any travel / time off, even if it’s not related to a particular special occasion.

  • You should probably add:
    Good Friday
    Freedom Day April 25
    Labour Day May 1st
    Corpus Christi Day
    Assumption Day August 15
    Republic Day October 5 – after all, in Funchal on Madeira, the main street is Rua 5 de Outubro

  • Hi , “O desfile de Carnaval é na próxima terça-feira à tarde.” Can I say in this way “O desfile de Carnaval é na tarde da próxima terça-feira.”? Just like the format of “Houve fogo de artifício na noite de 10 de junho.”

    • Olá. Yes, both ways are grammatically correct! But the first option (próxima terça-feira à tarde) would be the most used.

  • Date formats:
    My electricity, water and telecomms. bills all have the format yyyy/mm/dd.
    I still find that confusing. Is that a regional thing on Madeira or common practice for utility bills?
    Should I still use dd/mm/yyyy in letters that I write myself?
    Thanks.

    • Olá! Both formats (yyyy/mm/dd and dd/mm/yyyy) are used across the country. I don’t think there’s a common standard for utility bills; each supplier seems to adopt whichever format they prefer (my bills come all sorts of ways).

  • A very use feature would be to add a little microphone icon to all the audio clips where there are currently speaker and turtle icons. Clicking this icon would launch a window where a user could practice speaking the phrase just like the various speaking practice exercises that are included in the lessons. I do usually try repeating these phrases multiple times until I think I’ve got it close, but being able to record and test the accuracy of my efforts would be very helpful.

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