Easter is fast approaching and with it, events to celebrate the holiday season.
Portugal has many traditional celebrations and after the pandemic preventing group gatherings, most are taking place for the first time in two years.
Festa das Tochas Floridas, The Flower Torch Festival, is held in São Brás de Alportel on Easter Sunday, which falls on April 17 this year.
The streets and pavements are covered with flowers and the procession of torches filled with flowers is a sight to see.
The whole village is decorated, even balconies will have residents’ beautifully decorated bedspreads adorning the railings and walls.
Local producers will be selling, amongst other things, regional sweets and snacks including of course Easter delicacies. There will be live music and dancing, including folkloric.
Entry is free, with the day starting at 9.30am when the streets will be opened for visitors to view the flower “carpet” followed, at 10am, by the opening up of São Sebastião Square and the Parish Church Square where stalls will be located.
The procession begins at 11am and at 3.30pm live entertainment begins.
On April 17, Loulé celebrates a festival that has been observed for over 500 years and which now attracts thousands of pilgrims to the city.
The statue of its patron saint, Our Lady of Piety (the Virgin Mary), will be processed through the streets of Loulé to the Church of São Francisco where it will remain for two weeks.
From Palm Sunday (April 10) to Easter Sunday (April 17) visitors will encounter similar processions to Loulé’s and also traditional festivals throughout the Algarve.
For those interested in traditional Easter fayre look out for roast lamb, savoury meat-filled pastries and Folar da Páscoa.
The latter is a sweet yeast bread, flavoured with cinnamon and fennel. Unusually, boiled eggs are found in the middle, shell and all! Click here to find out about this unusual local delicacy.
For information on more events taking place over the Easter period click here for a downloadable guide.