Hello everyone! This Easter I have been busy with family and trips around Portugal, so I know that this post comes a little bit too late.
Nevertheless, I think a lot of people are still wondering (like they were about Happy New Year and Christmas) how to say Happy Easter in Portuguese and what the Easter traditions are in Portugal, so I decided to write this article anyway.
So, shall we start?
Easter traditions in Portugal
Being mostly a Christian country, Portugal sees a lot of things happening around this time of the year. As you may know, Easter changes dates every year, as it always depends on when the first full moon was after the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere (Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere). It seems rather complicated, right? Actually, this calculation is called Computus in Latin and it comes from the medieval ages.
Speaking about names, in Portuguese Easter is Páscoa and this denomination comes from the Hebrew noun “Peseach”, which symbolises the passage from slavery to freedom. Actually, that is the main message of Easter, since we celebrate the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe led to the freeing of the Human souls from Sin.
In Portugal, Holy Friday or Sexta-Feira Santa is a holiday and Sunday is the culmination of Easter, since we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. We call it Domingo de Páscoa. However, the preparation for Páscoa starts 40 days before, at the beginning of Quaresma, which is a time to meditate, reflect and be spiritual for Christians. Some people also fast, abstaining from meat, for example.
A tradition that has been gaining strength in Portugal is the egg hunt. Children colour eggs – Ovos da Páscoa – and believe in the Easter Bunny – Coelho da Páscoa. Normally, adults hide chocolate eggs – Ovos de Chocolate – for the children to find and every one has a lot of fun!
Ah, and we tend to spend Easter with our loved ones too, of course!
In Portugal, the most common dish in Easter is Cabrito. This is the baby goat and the meat is very tender and it has a very distinct taste. For vegetarian people, there are now some alternatives, and I am one of those people who cannot bring myself to eat a baby animal anymore, but this is the tradition in Portugal for now.
There are also some good sweets and desserts. We have a kind of sweet bread, called Folar, which is really good and that is typical from Easter. If you never tried it, be sure to do so when you can.
How do you say Happy Easter in Portuguese
But how do you wish a Happy Easter in Portuguese? Well, check out the most common ways:
- Feliz Páscoa or Páscoa Feliz
You can say both, as in this case it does not matter if the adjective comes before or after the noun! It is a bit artistic to say Feliz Páscoa, so do not be afraid to use it. It gives the words more strength. Literally, it means “Happy Easter”.
- Boa Páscoa!
This is another way to wish a “Happy Easter”. Literally, it means “Good Easter”, which in English would be something like “Have a good Easter”. Do not forget that the adjective Bom has to be changed into Boa because Páscoa is a feminine word, a Páscoa. In the case of Feliz Páscoa, that we saw above, the adjective does not change to feminine, because it does not end in an o, but in a z.
So, tell me, how do you celebrate Easter in your country? Do you at all? If so, is it common to spend it with your family or with friends?
Please let me know all about it in the comments below!
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