Public Holidays

Public holidays in Portugal

As 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.

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Non-floating holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

DateHolidayLocal name
Jan. 1stNew Year's DayAno Novo
Jan. 6thEpiphanySantos Reis Magos
March 19thFather's DayDia dos Pais
April 25thDay of FreedomDia da Liberdade
May 1stLabor DayDia do Trabalhador
June 10thPortugal DayDia de Portugal
June 19thSt Anthony's DayDia de Santo António
June 24thJohannis' DayDia de São João
June 29thSaint PeterDia de São Pedro
Aug. 15thAssumption DayAssunção
Oct. 5thEstablishment of the RepublicImplantação da República
Nov. 1stAll Saints' DayTodos os santos
Dec. 1stRe-Establishment of independenceRestauração da Independência
Dec. 8thImmaculate conceptionImaculada Conceição
Dec. 25thChirstmasNatal
Dec. 26thBoxing Day
Dec. 31stNew Year's EveVéspera de Ano Novo

Moving Holidays in Portugal

HolidayLocal name20232024202520262027
Ash WednesdayQuarta-Feira De CinzasFeb. 22ndFeb. 14thMarch 5thFeb. 18thFeb. 10th
CarnivalCarnavalFeb. 28thFeb. 20thMarch 11thFeb. 24thFeb. 16th
Maundy ThursdayQuinta-feira SantaApril 6thMarch 28thApril 17thApril 2ndMarch 25th
Good FridaySexta-Feira SantaApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rdMarch 26th
Easter SundayPáscoaApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5thMarch 28th
Easter MondaySegunda-feira de PáscoaApril 10thApril 1stApril 21stApril 6thMarch 29th
Mother's DayDia das MãesMay 7thMay 5thMay 4thMay 3rdMay 2nd
Ascension of ChristQuinta-feira da AscensãoMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14thMay 6th
Whit SundayPentecostesMay 28thMay 19thJune 8thMay 24thMay 16th
Corpus ChristiCorpo de DeusJune 8thMay 30thJune 19thJune 4thMay 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 1974

Public Holidays The 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 customs

Easter, 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.
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