Public holidays in Portugal

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In Portugal, a public holiday (Portuguese : feriado) is a calendar date, legally recognised and defined in the Labour Code as well as the Concordat of 2004, on which most businesses and non-essential services are closed. On some of these dates, public commemorative festivities are traditionally held.

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Public holidays in Portugal are a mixture of select religious (Roman Catholic) observances and days that have national historical or cultural significance. These dates have changed over time: currently, there are 13 mandatory holidays and one optional (Carnival) that has to be specifically designated as a day off work (Portuguese : tolerância de ponto) each year by government decree. Specific dates may alternatively be observed only at region or municipal level.

Public holidays in Portugal

Continental Portugal Autonomous Regions of Portugal
Date English name Portuguese nameNotes Flag of Portugal.svg Flag of Madeira.svg Flag of the Azores.svg
1 January New Year's Day Ano NovoYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
moveable Carnival Carnaval Carnival in Portugal is an annual festival, that ends on Shrove Tuesday (called Fat Tuesday in Madeira - Terça-feira Gorda in Portuguese) the day before Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent). This is an optional holiday, although it is usually observed. 47 days before Easter Sunday.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
moveable Good Friday Sexta-feira SantaFriday before Easter Sunday. Observed April 2, 2021Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
moveable Easter Domingo de PáscoaObserved April 4, 2021Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
25 April Freedom Day Dia da LiberdadeCelebrates the 1974 coup d'état that ended the Estado Novo government and established the Portuguese Third Republic.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
1 May Labour Day Dia do TrabalhadorSimilar to Labor Day celebrated worldwide.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
moveable Corpus Christi Corpo de DeusThursday, date varies. 60 days after Easter Sunday. It is religion based. Observed June 3, 2021Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
moveable Autonomous Region of Azores Day(Whit Monday)Dia da Região Autónoma dos Açores

Dia da Pombinha

Dia do Bodo

Only celebrated in Azores. X mark.svg X mark.svg Yes check.svg
10 June Portugal Day Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades PortuguesasNational Day.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
1 July Autonomous Region of Madeira and Madeiran Communities Day Dia da Região Autónoma da Madeira e das Comunidades MadeirensesOnly celebrated in Madeira. X mark.svg Yes check.svg X mark.svg
15 August Assumption Assunção de Nossa SenhoraA religious account of the taking up of Mary into heaven.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
5 October Republic Day Implantação da RepúblicaCelebrates the end of Monarchy and the beginning of the Portuguese Republic.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
1 November All Saints Day Dia de Todos-os-SantosIn terms of Western Christian theology, the feast commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
1 December Restoration of Independence Restauração da IndependênciaCelebrates the end of the Philippine Dynasty (1580–1640).Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
8 December Immaculate Conception Imaculada ConceiçãoAccording to Roman Catholic Dogma, the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain of original sin.Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
25 December Christmas Day NatalYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
26 December 1st Octave Primeira OitavaOnly celebrated in Madeira. – Primeira Oitava is part of Madeira's centuries old Christmas celebrations which has been recognized as public holiday [1] by the Regional Government of Madeira, celebrating the second day of the week leading up to New Year's Day. X mark.svg Yes check.svg X mark.svg
Total holidays141615

Revoked holidays in 2013–2015

In 2012, the Coalition government of Pedro Passos Coelho controversially revoked four holidays – two civilian holidays (Republic Day and Restoration of Independence) and two religious ones (Corpus Christi and All Saints Day). The move was effective from 2013 onwards and was presented as a measure to increase productivity, in the context of the 2011–2014 Troika bailout to Portugal (even though that measure was never requested by the Memorandum of Understanding). Public debate and re-evaluation were scheduled in 2018 for the religious holidays.

The four holidays were eventually restored by the government of António Costa, in January 2016.

Local holidays

According to a Decree of 12 October 1910, municipalities were given the possibility of choosing a day that would represent their traditional festivals. [2]

Date English name Portuguese nameNotes
15 JanuaryMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Santa Cruz.
20 JanuaryMunicipal HolidayDia do S. SebastiãoCelebrated in Santa Maria da Feira, Aveiro.
22 JanuaryMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in São Vicente.
18 FebruaryMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Valença.
19 March St. Joseph's Day Dia de São JoséCelebrated in Santarém.
11 AprilMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Lagoa. The date was chosen because the locality was made town by Royal Charter of 11 April 1522.
23 AprilSaint George's DayDia de São Jorge.Celebrated in Velas. The date was chosen due to the fact that this locality celebrates Saint George's Day since 1460. [3]
moveable Easter Monday Segunda-feira de PáscoaCelebrated in Avis, Borba, Caminha, Campo Maior, Cuba, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Ílhavo, Mação, Mora, Penamacor, Ponte de Sor, Portel, Redondo, Castelo de Vide, Constância, Crato, Nisa and Sousel. 5 April in 2021.
moveable Ascension of Jesus Quinta-feira da AscensãoCelebrated in Alcanena, Alenquer, Almeirim, Alter do Chão, Alvito, Anadia, Ansião, Arraiolos, Arruda dos Vinhos, Azambuja, Beja, Benavente, Cartaxo, Chamusca, Estremoz, Golegã, Loulé, Mafra, Marinha Grande, Mealhada, Melgaço, Monchique, Mortágua, Oliveira do Bairro, Quarteira, Salvaterra de Magos, Santa Comba Dão, Sobral de Monte Agraço, Torres Novas, Vidigueira and Vila Franca de Xira.
Fifth Sunday after Easter ( moveable)Municipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Ponta Delgada. [3]
25 MayMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Santana. The date was chosen because it is anniversary of the date of elevation the village and seat of county in the year 1835.
13 June St. Anthony's Day Dia de Santo AntónioCelebrated in Lisbon where on the Avenida da Liberdade, there are the Marchas, a parade of folklore and costumes from the city's different traditional quarters, with hundreds of singers and dancers and a vast audience applauding their favorite participants. As St Anthony is the matchmaker saint, it is still the tradition in Lisbon to celebrate multiple marriages (200 to 300).
16 JuneMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Olhão. The date was chosen because it marks the start of the Olhão's revolt against the Napoleonic troops.
20 JuneMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Corvo. The date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the town. [3]
24 June St. John's Day Dia de São JoãoCelebrated in Porto, Braga, Figueira da Foz, Almada, Calheta, Porto Santo, Angra do Heroísmo, Horta, Santa Cruz da Graciosa, Santa Cruz das Flores, Vila do Porto and Vila Franca do Campo (as a Municipal Holiday). [4]

Porto and Braga celebrate with a big festival and fireworks over the River Douro (in Porto) and down Avenida da Liberdade (in Braga). Across the country a traditional midsummer bonfire is also built and following an ancient pagan tradition, revelers try to jump over the bonfire, this in order to gain protection during the rest of the year.

29 June St. Peter's Day Dia de São PedroCelebrated in Alfândega da Fé, Bombarral, Castro Daire, Castro Verde, Évora, Felgueiras, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Montijo, Penedono, Porto de Mós, Póvoa de Varzim, Ribeira Brava, Ribeira Grande, São Pedro do Sul, Seixal and Sintra.

Just like St. Anthony's Day and St. John's Day, St. Peter's Day is celebrated with a traditional midsummer bonfire, where people jumps over and perform a tradition known as "Queimar a Alcachofra" (Burn the Artichoke) which symbolizes the "Good Which Fulfill".

4 JulySt. Elizabeth's DayDia de Santa IsabelCelebrated in Coimbra
Third Monday of July ( moveable )Municipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Lajes das Flores.
18 JulyMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Nordeste. This date was chosen because the locality was made town by Royal Charter of 18 July 1514.
22 JulyMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Porto Moniz and Madalena.
11 AugustMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Praia da Vitória. The date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the battle (11 August 1829) that prevented the royalists from reaching land during the Portuguese Civil War.
16 AugustMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in São Roque do Pico. [3]
20 AugustMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Viana do Castelo.
21 AugustFunchal City DayDia da Cidade do FunchalCelebrated in Funchal. Anniversary of the date in which, in 1508, and by Royal Charter, the town of Funchal was elevated to the category of city. [4]
8 SeptemberNativity of MaryNatividade de Nossa SenhoraCelebrated in Lagoa, Alcoutim, Ponta do Sol, Lamego, Mangualde, Marco de Canaveses, Marvão, Montemor-o-Velho, Murtosa, Nazaré, Odemira, Ourique and Sabrosa.
21 SeptemberSt. Matthew's DayDia de São MateusCelebrated in Viseu, and Elvas
Monday after the first the Sunday of September ( moveable )Municipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Povoação. [3]
4 OctoberMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrate in Câmara de Lobos. The date was chosen because on 4 October 1835 the first electoral act took place, the swearing-in ceremony and inauguration of the first mayor of Câmara de Lobos and his respective council. [5]
9 OctoberMunicipal HolidayDia do ConcelhoCelebrated in Machico. This is date on which the annual pilgrimage to the Lord of Miracles takes place, and the anniversary of the date in 1803 of which the most severe natural calamity that occurred on the island of Madeira since its settlement: an alluvium which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. [4]
25 November Saint Catherine's Day Dia de Santa CatarinaCelebrated in Calheta. The date was chosen because since times immemorial it is on this day that this locality celebrates the Feast of Saint Catherine. [3]

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References

  1. "Decreto Legislativo Regional n.º 39/2012/M" (PDF). Jornal Oficial da Região Autónoma da Madeira. Governo Regional da Madeira. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  2. Coelho, Pedro (9 October 2018). "Comemorações - Dia do Conselho". Câmara Municipal de Câmara de Lobos. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Feriados na Região Autónoma dos Açores | Calendários". Calendários (in Portuguese). 7 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 "Feriados na Região Autónoma da Madeira | Calendários". Calendários (in Portuguese). 6 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  5. "Câmara de Lobos aprova alteração do Dia do Concelho". dnoticias.pt (in Portuguese). Retrieved 9 October 2018.