6. Portuguese Folklore -
Folklore within Portugal is an important part of the culture and can be seen from the home to the church. Storytelling still holds an important place in the society which can be seen in its abundance of local fairytales, legends, and myths. Traditional beliefs and customs have mixed with the Catholic religion, resulting in a wide belief in superstitions. Many people believe in the evil eye, or the ability to bestow bad luck or illness on another person. It is common practice to leave offerings with saints as well.
5. Portuguese Festivals -
Throughout Portugal, people celebrate a wide variety of festivals which are a significant part of Portuguese culture. Nearly every small town has a local celebration, which is generally based on a local saint’s day or agricultural harvest. Sometimes these last for days at a time. One of the most well-known festivals is Carnaval in February. This event is celebrated in many towns and cities with parades, music, and dancing. Other towns celebrate Carnaval more traditionally, as a festival of springtime fertility complete with people wearing masks for the duration of the event.
4. Portuguese Cuisine -
Portuguese cuisine is well known for its use of fish and seafood, which is no surprise, given its reliance on the fishing industry. In general, the cuisine has Mediterranean influences and a heavy reliance on spices, herbs, and garlic. Lunch is the biggest and longest meal of the day, sometimes lasting as long as 2 hours. This meal include 3 courses: soup, main dish, and dessert. The most common soup is caldo verde, made of potato, sausage, and kale. The main dish is often fish, salted cod is very popular. For dessert, rice pudding is typically served.
3. Portuguese Games -
Games and sports are still seen as a way of socializing in Portugal and an integral part of Portuguese culture. Many have been passed down through several generations. One of the most common traditional games is Quoits. This game is similar to bowling, but instead of rolling a ball to knock down pins, players throw a disc instead. The discs are made of wood and iron and are thrown at 2 pins, which are placed far apart. Two teams of 2 to 5 members play against each other. Popular sports include: soccer, handball, and futsal.
2. Fine Arts And Performing Arts -
Portugal has a long history of fine and performing arts, including dance, music, theater, and art. At the beginning of the 16th century, a painting style known as Manueline developed. This movement was followed over the next several centuries by a focus on portrait paintings, romanticism, naturalism, and realism. Today, museums and art galleries all over the country are home to many of these pieces of art.
The national music of Portugal is called Fado, which has its roots in the 1700’s. It is considered a somewhat sad style of music that tells stories of life. This music is so important to the national identity that when Amalia Rodrigues, the most famous fado musician, died, the country observed 3 days of national mourning. Traditional dances include: fandango, circle dance, and corridinho.
1. Social Beliefs In Portugal -
As previously mentioned, Catholicism has a great influence over Portuguese culture. It has influenced the country’s health care, educational system, holidays, weddings, funerals, and laws. The Portuguese culture itself is very polite and reserved, particularly when first meeting somebody. Once two people are acquainted, however, the relationship is more friendly. Typical greetings involve two kisses on each cheek.
About the Author
Amber is a freelance writer, English as a foreign language teacher, and Spanish-English translator. She lives with her husband and 3 cats.
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