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Public Holidays In Portugal 2024

Portugal, a country known for its rich history and vibrant culture, offers a calendar filled with diverse holidays, celebrations, and festivals that reflect its deep-rooted traditions. From the perspective of an expat hailing from the United Kingdom, the frequency and fervor of these celebrations are both surprising and delightful, offering a unique insight into the Portuguese way of life.

A Year-Round Celebration

In Portugal, the calendar is punctuated with a variety of observances, from national holidays that see businesses and schools close their doors, to regional festivals that showcase local customs and gastronomy. Whether it’s a national holiday or a local festivity, these events are invariably centered around three key elements: food, family, and friends. Streets come alive with food vendors, music, and performances, celebrating everything from historical and cultural milestones to religious observances.

Public Holidays in Portugal 2024

Portugal observes thirteen public holidays, with an additional optional holiday, Carnival, which is widely celebrated. These holidays encompass a mix of religious, historical, and cultural observances.

  • 1 January (Sunday): New Year’s Day (Ano Novo)
  • 29 March (Friday): Good Friday (Sexta-feira Santa)
  • 31 March (Sunday): Easter Sunday
  • 25 April (Thursday): Freedom Day (Dia da Liberdade)
  • 1 May (Wednesday): Labor Day (Dia do Trabalhador)
  • 30 May (Thursday): Corpus Christi (Corpo de Deus) (Celebrated 60 days after Easter Sunday)
  • 10 June (Monday): Portugal National Day (Dia de Portugal)
  • 15 August (Thursday): Assumption of Mary (Assunção de Nossa Senhora)
  • 5 October (Saturday): Republic Day (Implantação da República)
  • 1 November (Friday): All Saints’ Day (Todos os Santos)
  • 1 December (Sunday): Restoration of Independence Day (Restauração da Independência)
  • 8 December (Sunday): Immaculate Conception (Imaculada Conceição)
  • 25 December (Wednesday): Christmas Day (Natal)
  • 13 Feburary (Tuesday): Shrove Tuesday (Carnival) – Not officially a public holiday but all schools are closed and kids get to Party thanks to the Ministry of Education in Portugal.

Regional Holidays in Portugal 2024

Following the Decree of 12 October 1910, municipalities in Portugal have the option to designate a day representing their traditional festivals. Here is an organized list of these holidays for 2024:

  • 15th January (Monday): Santa Cruz – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 20th January (Saturday): Santa Maria da Feira, Aveiro – Municipal Holiday (Dia do S. Sebastião)
  • 22nd January (Monday): São Vicente – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 18th February (Sunday): Valença – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 19th March (Tuesday): Santarém – St. Joseph’s Day (Dia de São José)
  • 1st April (Monday): Easter Monday (Segunda-feira de Páscoa) – Celebrated 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
  • 11th April (Thursday): Lagoa – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), commemorating its elevation to town status by Royal Charter on 11 April 1522
  • 23rd April (Tuesday): Velas – Saint George’s Day (Dia de São Jorge), marking the celebration of Saint George since 1460
  • 9th May (Thursday): Ascension of Jesus (Quinta-feira da Ascensão) – Celebrated 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
  • 25th May (Saturday): Santana – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), marking the anniversary of its elevation in 1835
  • 13th June (Thursday): Lisbon – St. Anthony’s Day (Dia de Santo António), featuring parades and mass weddings
  • 16th June (Sunday): Olhão – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), commemorating the start of Olhão’s revolt against Napoleonic troops
  • 20th June (Thursday): Corvo – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), celebrating the town’s anniversary
  • 24th June (Monday): St. John’s Day (Dia de São João) – Celebrated in Porto, Braga, Figueira da Foz, Almada, and other municipalities with festivals and fireworks
  • 29th June (Saturday): St. Peter’s Day (Dia de São Pedro) – Celebrated 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
  • 1st July (Monday): Island of Madeira – Madeira Day (Dia de Madeira)
  • 4th July (Thursday): Coimbra – St. Elizabeth’s Day (Dia de Santa Isabel)
  • Third Monday of July (15th July): Lajes das Flores – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 18th July (Thursday): Nordeste – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), marking its elevation to town status on 18 July 1514
  • 22nd July (Monday): Porto Moniz and Madalena – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 26th July (Friday): Loures – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), marking its establishment as a municipal seat on 26 July 1886
  • 11th August (Sunday): Praia da Vitória – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), commemorating the battle that prevented royalists from landing during the Portuguese Civil War
  • 16th August (Friday): São Roque do Pico – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 20th August (Tuesday): Viana do Castelo – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 21st August (Wednesday): Funchal – Funchal City Day (Dia da Cidade do Funchal), marking the elevation of the town to city status in 1508
  • 8th September (Sunday): Nativity of Mary (Natividade de Nossa Senhora) – Celebrated in Lagoa, Alcoutim, Ponta do Sol, and other municipalities
  • 21st September (Saturday): St. Matthew’s Day (Dia de São Mateus) – Celebrated in Viseu and Elvas
  • Monday after the first Sunday of September (2nd September): Povoação – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho)
  • 4th October (Friday): Câmara de Lobos – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), commemorating the first electoral act and inauguration of the first mayor on 4 October 1835
  • 9th October (Wednesday): Machico – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), marking the annual pilgrimage to the Lord of Miracles and the severe natural calamity of 1803
  • 19th November (Tuesday): Odivelas and Trofa – Municipal Holiday (Dia do Concelho), marking their establishment as municipal seats on 19 November 1998
  • 25th November (Monday): Calheta – Saint Catherine’s Day (Dia de Santa Catarina), celebrating the Feast of Saint Catherine
  • 27 November (Monday): Guarda – Foral of Sancho
  • 26th December (Thursday): Island of Madeira – Primeira Oitava (Boxing Day)

Important dates in Portugal during 2024

  • 13 February (Tuesday): Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras or Carnival (Carnaval)
  • 19 March (Tuesday): Father’s Day
  • 31 March (Sunday): Clocks go forward one hour in Portugal as a result of daylight saving time starting
  • 5 May (Sunday): Mother’s Day
  • 27 October (Sunday): Clocks go back one hour in Portugal as a result of daylight saving time ending

Other Important Dates In Portugal 2024

The dates highlighted above represent the cornerstone of Portugal’s festive calendar, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg. The country’s calendar is brimming with additional festivals and celebrations, many of which align with these key dates, enriching the cultural tapestry of Portugal even further. These myriad events, spanning from local to national levels, underscore the depth and diversity of Portuguese traditions and communal spirit.

  • 13th May (Monday):Fatima Pilgrimage – Commemorating the Virgin Mary’s apparition, drawing visitors from around the globe.
Fatima pilgrimage 13th May
Thousands of people make the Fatima Pilgrimage
  • 24th June (Monday): Festa de São João
  • 2nd May (Thursday): Flower Festival – Island Of Madeira (This is when the flower festival starts
  • 30th April to 5th May: The Celebration of the Crosses (Festa das Cruzes) – Takes place in Barcelos near Braga, located within the Minho Province. This event traces its origins back to the 16th century, specifically to the year 1504, when a shoemaker discovered a black cross imprinted on the ground, interpreting it as a divine symbol. What began as a religious festival and pilgrimage has evolved into a vibrant public festivity, featuring parades, live performances, and spectacular fireworks displays.
  • The Red Waistcoat Festival (Festa do Colete Encarnado), occurring in the first week of July, is Portugal’s take on the spanish bull-running tradition. Hosted in Vila Franca de Xira, this exhilarating event draws crowds by the thousands as bulls are let loose to dash through the town’s streets. Accompanying the adrenaline-pumping bull runs are lively dances, music concerts, and traditional bullfights, making it a must-experience spectacle. This festival started on the 16th July 1932
  • 14th to 22nd August: Feast of Our Lady in Sorrow in Viana do Castelo (Festas da Agonia). This festival originated in 1744, initiated by fishermen praying for calm seas. The 20th of August has since been designated as the day to celebrate this festival in her honor. In 1772, a royal decree sanctioned the organization of a free fair in the city on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of August. From that point forward, the Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Agony has evolved into one of Portugal’s most magnificent, vibrant, and grand folk festivals.

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