Festivities in Portugal

Discover the main festivities in Portugal and when do they happen.

Festivities in Portugal
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Portugal has many holidays throughout the year. Below you might find some of the most notable festivities, their dates and place of celebration.

January - February:

Carnival: Carnival celebrated in Portugal is an important festivity throughout the territory being the biggest celebrations in Loulé, Ovar, Torres Vedras, Viana do Castelo and Madeira island.

International Chocolat Festival (14-28 Feb.):This festival is housed in the municipality of Óbidos, Estremadura, a festival dedicated to chocolate, cacao and those who spend their lives working with it.

Fantasporto (end of February): International festival dedicated to fantasy, horror and alternative films, exhibited in Oporto.

March - April:

Holy Week: During this week there are numerous manifestations that comprehend the Easter celebration. From all the festivities we recommend your visit to the Holy Week festivities in Braga.

Ovibeja (last weekend of april): This fair is dedicated to agriculture and cattle raising. We highlight the presence of several artists and cattle raising. There are several artists doing different performances and exhibiting craftwork and traditional dishes.

May:

Cantarinhas Fair (2-4th May): This is an important craftwork fair on the north extreme point of the country in Bragança, Trás-os-Montes.

Queima das Fitas: Burning of the Ribbons (first week of May): This week is dedicated to the academic life. The most famous is Queima das Fitas in Coimbra with daily parades, masses, concerts and many other activities. The burning of the ribbons is repeated throughout the territory being the most relevant ones in Lisbon, Oporto, Braga, Setúbal and Faro.

Crosses Festivity (first week of May): This festivity is held in Barcelos. A festivity of flags, flowers and outdoor concerts.

Sea Festival (first weekend of May): Maritime parade in coloured boats ornamented with flowers in honor to the fishermen’s patron saints, on the Nazaré Port, Estremadura.

Pilgrimage to Fátima (12-13th of May): Hundreds of thousands of people visit Fátima to commemorate the apparitions of the Virgin in 1917. This same pilgrimage happens in 12-13th October.

Alvarinho Fair (end of May): This is a five days festivity in honor to the tasty wine of Monção. This fair has, more than wine and food tastings, music, concerts, folk dances and much more.

June:

Fado Fest:This fest is held in the S. George Castle in Lisbon. During the month of June you might hear the best of the portuguese fado, for free, every thursday and sunday in the typical electric trams.

Corpo de Deus Fest:This festivity is held in Monção, Minho, and incorporates several religious pilgrimages and a medieval fair.

Vaca das Cordas & Corpus Christi: Dating back to many centuries ago, this festivity held in Ponte de Lima has an outdoor bullfight, followed by several religious festivities.

Saint Anthony Festivity (12-13th June):This lively popular festivity is held in Lisbon, in the Alfama borough. On this night you might engage in one of more than 50 small festivities on the city with much music, dance, wine and sardines.

Saint John Festivity (23-24th June):This popular festivity is celebrated in Oporto, Braga and Vila do Conde, where apart from many sardines all the locals hit each other’s heads with a plastic hammer.

Agricultura National Fair (end of June): This annual fair is held in Santarém. It has horse races, bullfights and many children’s events.

July:

Medieval Market: Embrace your armour and head to the Óbidos walls, where all types of medieval traditions are recreated in one of the biggest medieval fairs in Portugal.

August:

Festas de Cidade e Gualterianas (first weekend): Free fair on the city of Guimarães, Minho, with folk dances, rock concerts, bullfights, fireworks and competitions.

Seafood Festival (mid August): This seafood festival is held every year in Olhão, Algarve. Some of the most typical dishes are caldeirada (fish stew) and cataplana (seafood and meat cooked in a copper dish). Good music is a constant presence.

São Mateus Fair: One of the biggest national fairs with music, typical food and firework


September - October:

Nossa Senhora da Nazaré (8th Septembre): This is one of the biggest religious festivities which includes folk dances, bullfights and pilgrimages.

November - December:

São Martinho Fair (first half of November): In the heart of the horse capital, Golegã, Ribatejo, many hipic competitions are held, night festivities, bullfights and, of course, good chestnuts with a typical drink called água-pé.

New Year’s Eve (31st December): New year is always welcomed throughout the country being the Madeira Island Fireworks the most celebrated festivity.

Find out more information you need to know before your trip to Portugal:

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