Portuguese culture

Portugal has long been a melting pot of differing peoples and customs. From the Romans to the Goths, from the Muslim Moors to the Catholic Empire and now the European Union Portugal is an open and international society.

Portugal has a long and rich tradition of music, literature and folklore with the individual regions having a strong sense of identity. Many cities and towns have a museum and a collection of ancient monuments and buildings. Many towns have at least a cinema, some venues to listen to music and locations to see arts and crafts. The larger cities often host international festivals and sporting events and are cultural centres for the arts and crafts. The rural areas traditions revolve around folklore with local festivals being held on a regular basis.

National public holidays

New Years Day

January 1st.


This day is not technically an official holiday but was declared by the government as a non-working day. Carnaval is an ancient festival that celebrates the end of winter and since being adapted by Christianity it has been used to mark the start of a period of 40 days before the start of Easter Week.

Dia da Liberdade

This day is celebrated on April 25th and is translated as Freedom Day, this holiday celebrates the Carnation Revolution which marked the end of dictatorship in 1974.

Labour Day (May Day)

May 1st.

Corpe de Deus

This day is known as Corpus Christi elsewhere in Christendom and celebrates the Eucharist.

Portugal Day

June 10th marks the death of a famous Portuguese writer called Camoes who wrote the nation’s national epic the Lusiads.

Republic Day

October 5th celebrates the advent of the Portuguese republic in 1910.

All Saints Day

November 1st is used to visit the graves of departed loved ones.

Restauração da Independência

December 1st celebrates the restoration of independence following Spain’s occupation of the country in1640.