5 Minutes of culture in Oporto
Perhaps there are quite a few things to mention about the uncrowned capital of Northern Portugal as a tourist destination, but how about more… immanent things? Today, we were thinking of going through 5 Minutes of culture in Oporto in an article centered on Northern Portuguese values and traditional specifics.
Porto, Portugal is an excellent city break. Not only do you have the entire old and rich city to visit, but there is also the rich Douro Valley to consider, one of the greatest wine-producing regions in Europe (and home to the sweet, yet intoxicating Port wine), as well as adjacent towns like Vila Nova de Gaia, fascinating and unique in their own way.
But culture in Oporto, as the locals call their home, is truly rich and outstanding. The locals love to party, so carnivals and celebrations of the Patron Saints are very popular reasons for them to go out on the streets and have a great time.
A unique holiday in town is the “Big Fountain”, celebrated on May 1st. Because the climate has always been rather dry in Portugal, since time immemorial, people used to pray to the gods of water for rain and rich harvests. Nowadays, the holiday has changed its form a little bit, though its scope remains the same. Porto locals decorate their homes and their boats with garlands of flowers and celebrate the rebirth of nature.
During carnivals, locals urge you to wear costumes to celebrate diversity and fantasy and an important Porto symbol is the grape, never missing from the holiday tables. As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, you must eat a grape and make a wish. Legend has it, it will definitely come true!