Portuguese Holidays

March 26, 2017

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 International Workers’ Day, Labour 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

New Year’s Eve Traditions in Portugal

December 14, 2016

In Portugal, A noite de Ano Novo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio New Year’s Eve is full of traditions and superstitions. Just like Christmas, the celebration begins with a family dinner, and even more holiday sweets.

It’s All About o Dinheiro!

Superstition says that you can attract o dinheiro Play normal audio money in the new year by eating chocolate.

The Holiday Season in Portugal

December 14, 2016

Celebrating Christmas: Then and Now

Portugal has no official religion, but most of its population is Christian (81% Catholic). However, only about 19% attend mass and take the sacraments regularly. In Portugal, Church and State are formally separate, but the Catholic institution still has a strong influence, especially for the older population.

xmas lisboaLike other parts of the world, holidays like o Natal paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Christmas have gradually transformed from being purely religious to being more commercialized, cultural holidays, especially for the younger generations. Despite the growing commercialization and consumerism of the holiday, it is still possible to find some old traditions, especially in as aldeias paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the small towns, villages of Portugal.

In more recent years, the Portuguese have incorporated as árvores de Natal paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the Christmas trees and Santa Claus imagery in their homes. Parents tell their children that