Easter in Portugal

Easter is a big family celebration in Portugal – having days off and a relaxing time in the warm spring sunshine with food playing a big part in the festivities. With a strong Catholic heritage, Easter (in Portuguese ‘Páscoa’) revelries are relatively low-key, at least regarding the religious aspect.

Portugal’s cuisine is as rich and varied as its landscape. Tradition says the faithful should abstain from eating meat – although some priests nowadays say it’s not compulsory, recommending some type of fasting as a sign of penitence for Christ’s suffering. As in many other Catholic countries, the tradition prompted the Portuguese to seek alternative nourishment and the choice was fish, especially the famous codfish known as ‘bacalhau’ served on Good Friday. Roast lamb is usually eaten on Easter Sunday, a heritage from the Jewish tradition which celebrates the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt and the sacrifice of the lambs in the story of their flight to freedom.

One food typical of Easter is the ‘folar de Páscoa’, a type of sweet bread, resembling cake, very characteristic because of the eggs boiled in their shell and incorporated into the dough - this represents rebirth and the resurrection of Christ. In the Algarve the ‘folar’ is eaten sticky sweet, making it cake, with several layers of delicious melted sugar, cinnamon and caramel!

Other tempting treats that are likely to adorn the Easter table in Portugal include marzipan sweets and cakes made from figs, oranges, almonds, carob or pumpkin and sweet rice pudding. Of course, chocolate eggs in various forms, plus caramel, chocolate or sugar-covered almonds are the favourite sweet snacks during Easter.

Imagine spending Easter with friends and family in your holiday home in the sun – find out how we can make that dream a reality - contact the experts: hello@PortugalProperty.com or call us on +351 308 800 878 or 0800 014 8201 free from the UK.

Published in: Guide to Portugal / Miscellaneous / Portugal Property / Portuguese Life