Portugal Realty


Easter in Portugal: It's all about tradition

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Easter is a time to celebrate Spring and all that represents the rebirth of life and hope. For the Portuguese, it’s also a family celebration, experienced with deep devotion for those who are religious and gratitude for everyone who simply believes that life is a precious gift.

Because the majority of the Portuguese are Catholics, Easter is one of the most awaited events in the liturgical calendar. But Good Friday is also a civil holiday and children are on spring break from school, so regardless of religious beliefs it's a time everyone is looking forward to. With spring in the air and the temperatures rising, this is the perfect time to enjoy a short holiday and relax with the family! 

Easter is also popular amongst foreigners who are searching for property for sale in Portugal. There are fewer crowds, plenty of sunshine and lots to see and do, making it an ideal time to visit Portugal and get to know a little more about its regions and local traditions. And, in most cases, to fall in love with its people!

If you are already living in Portugal or visiting our beautiful country at this time of the year, accept our suggestions and enjoy Portugal's Easter traditions to the fullest: 


Almonds, chocolate and the famous “folar”

As with every Portuguese holiday or festivity, culinary traditions are the centre stage of the celebration!

Let's start with the sweets. Wherever you go, the shop windows will be coloured with “amendoas” (sugar-covered almonds), chocolate dragees, rabbits and eggs wrapped in coloured paper that hide a surprise for the little ones inside. It's traditional for godparents to always give a sweet gift to their godchildren on Easter Sunday. In some regions, presents may include money and, more recently, toys or books... no wonder Portuguese children always look forward to this time of the year!

As for traditional Portuguese Easter desserts, don't miss "folar", a sweet bread baked with a hard-boiled egg (including its shell) in the middle.

If you're in the Algarve and the Easter bunny in you is craving sugary delights, why not hop down to Silves or Albufeira and participate in these sweet events: 

  • Silves: 21st Portuguese Easter Cake Fair, 19th April to 21st April;
  • Albufeira: Guia's Portuguese Easter Cake Tasting, 21st April.

As for the Silver Coast, there are plenty of fantastic bakeries to indulge in Easter sweets and pastries! Don't miss Atelier do Doce's folar, voted in 2019 as Portugal's "Best Folar of Portugal". This bakery is in Casal do Amaro - Alfeizerao, just a 10-minute drive from Sao Martinho do Porto.

Sugary desserts and meat dishes are eaten on Easter Sunday in celebration after a time of prayer and fasting during the 40 days of Lent. Even today it's very common, especially in the more rural villages, for Portuguese Catholics to follow the tradition of not eating meat every Friday during Lent.

On Easter Sunday Portuguese homes are filled with joy and laughter and building family memories at the table is the highpoint of this celebration. Roasted lamb is one of the most traditional dishes and there can be no shortage of Portuguese wine!


Religious traditions and events

For those who are Catholics as well as for the many tourists who visit Portugal during Easter, the highlight of this holiday is the religious celebrations. 

These start on Palm Sunday, a day where all of the Portuguese roman catholic parishes reenact Jesus Christ's entrance into Jerusalem and crowds lay down palm leaves in front each church's entrance. On Holy Thursday and Friday, many events reenact other biblical moments, with processions at night lighted by hand-held torches and hundreds of penitents. 

If you're spending Easter in the Silver Coast, don't miss the celebrations that take place in every parish. Among the many events that take place in the region, some are especially sought after by visitors:

  • Obidos: from 14th to 21st April the "Semana Santa" (or Holy Week) in Obidos attracts thousands of people, Portuguese and foreign, united by devotion and culture. This is one of the most impressive religious ceremonies of its kind in Portugal, in addition to a cultural programme with concerts and exhibitions. These ceremonies are one of the oldest in the country, with its 400-year-old procession.
  • Sao Martinho do Porto: from 14th to 21st April, various events with the high point of the celebrations on the night of Good Friday with the reenactment of the Descent of the Cross and Procession of Christ's Burial. 

Easter in the Algarve is also celebrated with various religious events, from masses to day and night processions:

  • Albufeira: Holy Week celebrations in the parishes of Paderne, Albufeira, Olhos de Água, Guia and Ferreiras, from April 7 to 21;
  • Portimao: Easter Solemn Eucharist and Resurrection Procession, 21st April;
  • Sao Bras de Alportel: Flower Torches Festival, 21st April – This important tradition in São Brás de Alportel on Easter Sunday is one of the annual highlights of this community. Bedspreads on the windows, decked out balconies and flower-carpeted streets for the procession are the set of one of the most beautiful, traditional processions in Portugal.
  • Loule: Mãe Soberana Festivities, 21st April – The biggest religious festivity in Southern Portugal will be taking place in Loulé, in a large demonstration of faith which attracts believers and tourists to town every year. Besides the extensive religious programme, the highlight is the procession up to the sanctuary accompanied by thousands of people.


As you can see, this is the ideal time to book your trip and get to know a little more about the Portuguese lifestyle. A simpler life, but full of flavour and lived with genuine joy! 

If you would like to know how to have your dream home in Portugal, contact us!

We have a wide selection of houses for sale in São Martinho do Porto, apartments in Nazare with a sea view and villas in Algarve Portugal close to the beach and with a private pool... everything you need to have a perfect life all year round!

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