Happy Halloween in Porto City!
This weekend, we say, Happy Halloween in Porto City! The holiday itself does not have a Portuguese substrate, but that doesn’t mean that, for the past years at least, it hasn’t become a very popular celebration both for the kids who can’t wait to get dressed in shiny, creepy costumes, and for the adults, who take this opportunity to meet their friends for drinks in a bar that holds a Halloween party.
2000 years ago, the ancient Celts celebrated the old, superstitious Samhain festival to mark the transition between autumn and winter, saying goodbye to the sunny, warm season and welcoming the cold season in a celebration meant to unite the living and the hallow.
The Christian Church couldn’t annul all manifestations of paganism, but they reinterpreted Samhain as the Feast of all Saints – the day of the dead. Certainly, it didn’t promote the idea that the dead returned to roam the Earth on November 1st, but some of the traditions remained.
Modern Halloween attained its prominence when the Irish and Scottish immigrants took it with them to the promised land of America. The locals loved it and the tradition stayed, reinterpreted with pumpkin pie, cookies and costumes.
But what about Portugal? As is the case with all Christian countries, Portugal celebrates All Saints’ Day on November 1st, honoring the dead with visits to the cemetery and candles lit in their memory. In the morning, children go from door to door asking for cookies or “bread of God”. They are given sweets, fruit, nuts or coins.
Porto is a city with a beautiful old town center, perfect for the setting of a Halloween party. The restaurants, bars and clubs host parties and city tours can be even more fun if you are wearing a funny witch’s hat or a creepy mask on. You can rent a car in Porto or get a Porto airport transfer and explore Oporto on all hollow’s eve – if you have the courage!