Public holidays in PortugalAs a country with a predominantly Catholic population, almost all Christian holidays are found in Portugal. However, these are not always public or non-working holidays. Outside of Madeira, Christmas is limited to only one day and even Whitsunday is celebrated only in the Azores.
Back to overview: Portugal
Non-floating holidaysNon-statutory holidays are written in gray.
|Jan. 1st||New Year's Day||Ano Novo|
|Jan. 6th||Epiphany||Santos Reis Magos|
|March 19th||Father's Day||Dia dos Pais|
|April 25th||Day of Freedom||Dia da Liberdade|
|May 1st||Labor Day||Dia do Trabalhador|
|June 10th||Portugal Day||Dia de Portugal|
|June 19th||St Anthony's Day||Dia de Santo António|
|June 24th||Johannis' Day||Dia de São João|
|June 29th||Saint Peter||Dia de São Pedro|
|Aug. 15th||Assumption Day||Assunção|
|Oct. 5th||Establishment of the Republic||Implantação da República|
|Nov. 1st||All Saints' Day||Todos os santos|
|Dec. 1st||Re-Establishment of independence||Restauração da Independência|
|Dec. 8th||Immaculate conception||Imaculada Conceição|
|Dec. 26th||Boxing Day|
|Dec. 31st||New Year's Eve||Véspera de Ano Novo|
Moving Holidays in Portugal
|Ash Wednesday||Quarta-Feira De Cinzas||Feb. 22nd||Feb. 14th||March 5th||Feb. 18th||Feb. 10th|
|Carnival||Carnaval||Feb. 28th||Feb. 20th||March 11th||Feb. 24th||Feb. 16th|
|Maundy Thursday||Quinta-feira Santa||April 6th||March 28th||April 17th||April 2nd||March 25th|
|Good Friday||Sexta-Feira Santa||April 7th||March 29th||April 18th||April 3rd||March 26th|
|Easter Sunday||Páscoa||April 9th||March 31st||April 20th||April 5th||March 28th|
|Easter Monday||Segunda-feira de Páscoa||April 10th||April 1st||April 21st||April 6th||March 29th|
|Mother's Day||Dia das Mães||May 7th||May 5th||May 4th||May 3rd||May 2nd|
|Ascension of Christ||Quinta-feira da Ascensão||May 18th||May 9th||May 29th||May 14th||May 6th|
|Whit Sunday||Pentecostes||May 28th||May 19th||June 8th||May 24th||May 16th|
|Corpus Christi||Corpo de Deus||June 8th||May 30th||June 19th||June 4th||May 27th|
As in some other countries, Portuguese counties can set their own holiday. In most cases, this municipal feast is dedicated to St. Anthony on June 13. Likewise, in many regions, St. John is commemorated on June 24. Other days are:
- March 19 (St. Joseph) in Santarém.
- April 20, Our Lady of Mércoles in Castelo Branco
- May 12, St. Joan in Aveiro
- May 13, Ascension Day in Beja
- May 22, Day of Leiria
- May 23, Day of Portalegre
- May 24, Day of the Azores
- June 13, St. Anthony in Lisbon and Vila Real
- June 24, St. John in Braga and Porto
- June 29, St. Peter in Évora
- July 4, St. Elizabeth in Coimbra
- August 20, Mater Dolorosa in Viana do Castelo
- August 22, Lady of Graces in Bragança
- September 7, Day of Faro
- September 15, Bocage in Setúbal
- September 21, St. Matthew in Viseu
- November 27, Foral of Sancho in Guarda
The Carnation Revolution of 1974The national holiday in Portugal is celebrated on April 25 in memory of the Carnation Revolution in 1974, the day of the military coup against the dictatorship of the then "Estado Novo" Marcelo Caetano, paving the way for the Third Portuguese Republic. Since the revolution was also supported by large parts of the population, opponents loyal to the regime were outnumbered and the takeover was largely peaceful. At the time, the carnations were the symbol of the socialist workers' movement, and were pinned to soldiers' clothing and rifle barrels. Two years later, the military handed over state power to a democratically elected government with a new constitution.
The coup also ended Portugal's longstanding colonial wars. The former colonies of Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique São Tomé and Príncipe and Cape Verde were granted independence within a year.
Easter week with regional customsEaster, as a Christian high festival, is also present on the Portuguese calendar. The Holy Week before Easter marks the end of Lent and is called "Semana Santa" in Portugal. In other words, "Holy Week." On the official calendar, it consists only of Good Friday throughout most of the country. Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper, is not a public holiday, but is used by parts of the population to go to church.
Unlike in most other countries, even Christian ones, in Portugal, the Easter egg is associated with the person of Jesus Christ. Traditionally, it is baked into bread made of sweet yeast dough ("folar"). Easter processions are worth seeing all over the country. They are impressive in Braga and the small town of São Brás de Alportel. Unusual is the variant of the Easter fire in northern Montalegre, where it is customary to burn oversized straw dolls, symbolizing the burning of the traitor Judas.