Portugal is well known for its stunning festivals, which are celebrated throughout the year across the country by locals and tourists alike. From February right up until December there’s always something going on to celebrate the country’s diverse and beautiful culture, history and religious beliefs.
February bears witness to the country’s carnival season, with Lisbon and Algarve towns due to explode into a mass of colour and fun in 2016. If you decide to visit at this time of year expect to enjoy parades, exciting dances, elaborate costumes and large crowds gathering on Shrove Tuesday.
The Lisbon Half Marathon is also taking place on March 20th. While this might not be a festival per se, it is definitely a chance for locals to gather together and celebrate the runners’ huge achievement. Following on from these events is the famous Obidos International Chocolate Festival, which sees 200,000 people visit the medieval town of Obidos with their significant others to celebrate Portugal’s very own version of Romeo and Juliet (the story of Prince Pedro and Ines) and of course eat lots and lots of chocolate.
March 21st to the 26th is a holy week in 2016 as religious processions take place in the run up to Easter Weekend, so if you visit at this time of year expect to find many buildings and businesses closed throughout Good Friday until Easter Sunday. These processions are a wonder to see though, with beautiful displays and commemorations taking place, Braga is noted as a destination worth a visit at that time of year.
The Lisbon Fish and Flavours Festival is another event in the Portuguese calendar met with delight by foodies around the globe. Created to celebrate the country’s best dishes, chefs and culinary delight it is a gathering of people who simply love to enjoy delicious food and wines, cooked fresh between April 7th to 17th.
May is a beautiful month for the country as regional festivities take place. In the Algarve May 1 is considered the Big Thaw Day and should you visit at this time of year you will see houses decorated with garlands of flowers to celebrate summer arriving.
If you’re looking for something more musical based then consider the Serralves em festa, a 40-hour long arts festival taking place in Porto, or Nos Primavera Sound which is an indie music festival also taking place in the city throughout the month of June. Boom Festival is another music event taking place – planned for August 11-18, this event is considered similar to the wild Burning Man which takes place in the US. So expect interesting characters, art installations, spiritual sessions and a huge dance temple.
The Our Lady of Nazarè festival takes place in mid September, which celebrates a 12th century legend who saved the life of Dom Fuas Roupinho and celebrated thereafter and after that the Christmas festivities begin! Vila Natal, taking place in Obidos featuring ice rinks and Christmas lights, is a sight to behold and more traditional festivities such as the Feast of Immaculate Conception on December 8 and Véspera de Natal on Christmas Eve, which consists of midnight mass then a huge feast.
All of these beautiful festivities and celebrations might well have you looking for real estate in Portugal and wishing you could immerse yourself in the country’s stunning culture and fun all year round! Plan your trip away for 2016 around one of these big events and have a holiday to remember.