Although Halloween is well known and celebrated in the United States, this tradition is not American and appeared in Europe more than 2,000 years ago. The tradition was created by the Celts who believed that between October 30 and November 2 the dead returned to the land, taking the form of ghosts. In these days people only went out in the streets in masks to go unnoticed.
Halloween has won over some enthusiasts in Portugal every year. Many children already ask the question “Trick or Treat?” on the famous Halloween, adapting the tradition of “Bread for God”.:
In this article we have separated some celebrations held in Portugal on Halloween:
- In Montalegre the torch night is celebrated, in which boys steal straw and go to the top of the hills to scare away spirits, witches and demons with the traditional torch burn.
- In Bragança, the Festa da Cabra e do Canhoto is celebrated, which recreates an old ritual of the night of witches by lighting a huge bonfire, with Celtic performances and a lot of mysticism throughout the event.
- In Lisbon, at the Ajuda Botanical Garden, Halloween is celebrated with a visit to the garden at night, with many terrifying games and pumpkins and masks contests.
- In Coimbra the tradition of Bolinhos e Bolinhós is a custom in which children with pumpkins with carved faces and candles lit inside ask for door to door money, cakes or sweets singing the popular song Bolinhos e Bolinhós.
- In the Azores, children offer cakes called caspiadas, which are shaped like the top of a skull, in exchange for wishes.
- Bread for God is a tradition throughout the country and is celebrated on November 1, All Saints’ Day. On Halloween the children go to the streets to knock from door to door to ask for Bread for God, reciting verses from a song and receive bread, sweet bread, nuts and treats in exchange.
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