Easter in Portugal

Experience Easter in Portugal, celebrating spring with family and friends.

Come to Braga at Easter and enjoy the festive atmosphere during the Semana Santa (Holy Week). Attend the Ecce Homo Procession on Good Friday, led by the Farricocos (barefoot men in tunics with hoods), one of the most peculiar parts of the Portuguese religious tradition.

If you’re in the Castelo de Vide region in the south, you’ll experience a very different Easter celebration, one with Jewish origins. In the morning of Easter Eve, the region’s shepherds invade the town centre to have their flocks of sheep blessed.At night, during the Vigília Pascal (Paschal Vigil), people ask for forgiveness in secret, reminiscent of the Jewish Yom Kippur. At the end of the mass, all those present bring cowbells that ring the Cortejo da Aleluia (Procession of Alleluia) through the town.

Easter is the perfect time to try specialities of Portuguese cuisine. After the fasting of Lent, the best delicacies are eaten, such as roast kid, lamb stew, meatballs, buns, chocolate and almond eggs. Just a few of the delicious dishes you can try.

Folar da Pascoa Recipe:
2Kg of flour
500g of sugar
40g of baker’s yeast
2 eggs
2 lemons
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Warm Water
- 2 Hard boiled eggs

Empty the baker’s yeast in a little bit of lukewarm water, let it develop a bit.Combine eggs and lemon zest and mix well. Add the flour with the sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt. Slowly add it to egg mix.Knead very well with mild warm water until the dough comes together and off your hands.

Let it rise and then form the folars into large, round balls, (about 6-8in. around) flattened a bit (make sure to reserve some dough for the crosses).Put one or two hard-boiled eggs into the center of each folar, and cross two strips of dough over the eggs and one wrapped around the cross.

At this point you can let it rise once more for an even fluffier bread. Brush egg yolk over the folars and bake it on medium heat about 200C or 350F for 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: Recipe by Andrea Smith for Catavino


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