Lisbon Local Custom Tips by J_Antunes

Lisbon Local Customs: 153 reviews and 212 photos

Eating snails - Lisbon

Eating snails

Snails... Food and drink Review

One of the typical foods in Portugal and very popular in the area of Lisbon are snails. Snails have a season and are normally eaten in a specific time of the year (June-August) when they are in their best shape to be tasted. Portuguese people sit in an esplanade with a beer, preferably after a day at the beach, and just relax snacking snails.
The snails are normally in nets at the door of the restaurants and are stewed with some spices. Snails are healthy, with a low calorie and fat and a high protein level. Produced in farms or caught in the nature they are actually molluscs like clams or squids. The snails eaten in Portugal are quite small and have nothing to do with the french escargot. The portuguese snails are small ones and are sucked directly from the shells.
Portugal eats 4.000 tons each year. In Lisbon, the area of Alcantara is probably one of the places with more concentration of places dedicated to the snailsmania but they can be eaten everywhere.
Snails are a tradition in many cultures and are eaten worldwide for thousands of year. Now it is up to youto try it or not...

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 27, 2009
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25 of April Card - Lisbon

25 of April Card

Carnation revolution

Hello,

April 25 is an important days in Portuguese history. The April Revolution or Carnations’ Revolution marks the military coup in 1974 that overthrew in just one day the political regime that had been in power in Portugal since 1926. The uprising was mainly led by the military who had fought in the colonial war. This war only ended with the change of political power caused by the April 25 coup. April 25 is considered a “day of freedom” and its symbol is the carnation. As the story goes, on the morning of the revolution, one of the locals joined in the streets supporting the soldiers and began offering carnations who placed them on the barrels of their rifles.

The coup started with the airing of two musics in the radio: E Depois do Adeus (After the Goodbye) from Paulo de Carvalho it was the sign to begin. Some say the song was just about a love others that it was full of double senses (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89LBNSX_vig)

Quis saber quem sou * Wanted to know who I am
O que faço aqui * What I'm doing here
Quem me abandonou * Who left me
De quem me esqueci * Of whom have I forgotten
Perguntei por mim * I asked for myself
Quis saber de nós * Wanted to know about us
Mas o mar* But the sea
Não me traz * Doesn't bring
Tua voz. * Your voice

Em silêncio, amor * In silence, love
Em tristeza e fim * In sadness and end
Eu te sinto, em flor * I feel you, in flower
Eu te sofro, em mim * I suffer you, in me
Eu te lembro, assim * I remember you, like this
Partir é morrer * To leave is dying
Como amar * As Loving
É ganhar * Is to win
E perder * And lose

Tu vieste em flor * You came in flower
Eu te desfolhei * And I unflowerished you
Tu te deste em amor * You gave yourself in love
Eu nada te dei * And I gave nothing to you
Em teu corpo, amor * In your body, love
Eu adormeci * I have fell asleep
Morri nele * I have died in it
E ao morrer * And while dying
Renasci * I reborn

E depois do amor * And after the love
E depois de nós * And after us
O dizer adeus * The saying goodbye
O ficarmos sós * The staying alone
Teu lugar a mais * Your place is sparing
Tua ausência em mim * Your absence in me
Tua paz * Your peace
Que perdi * That I lost
Minha dor que aprendi * My pain I have learn
De novo vieste em flor * And once again you became in flower
Te desfolhei... * I have deflowered you

E depois do amor * And after the love
E depois de nós * And after us
O adeus * The goodbye
O ficarmos sós * And we will stay alone

The next signal was to take control over significant control points in town and it was done using the song "Grândola, Vila Morena" forbidden by the censorship (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg0W_hOA66o)

Grândola, vila morena * Grandola (town in Alentejo), tanned village
Terra da fraternidade * Land of fraternity
O povo é quem mais ordena * The people is who commands the most
Dentro de ti, ó cidade * Inside of you, oh town

Dentro de ti, ó cidade * inside of you, oh town
O povo é quem mais ordena * People is who commands the most
Terra da fraternidade * Land of fraternity
Grândola, vila morena * Grandola, tanned village

Em cada esquina um amigo * In each corner a friend
Em cada rosto igualdade * In each face equality
Grândola, vila morena * Grandola, tanned village
Terra da fraternidade * Land of fraternity

Terra da fraternidade * Land of fraternity
Grândola, vila morena * Grandola, tanned village
Em cada rosto igualdade * In each face equality
O povo é quem mais ordena * People is who commands the most

À sombra d’uma azinheira * To the shadow of a tree
Que já não sabia a idade * That no longer knew the age
Jurei ter por companheira * I have sworn as a companion
Grândola a tua vontade * Grandola your will

Grândola a tua vontade * Grandola your will
Jurei ter por companheira * I have sworn as a companion
À sombra duma azinheira * To the shadow of a tree
Que já não sabia a idade * That no longer knew the age

The Carmo Square was the centre of the events where Marcelo Caetano, the prime minister took refuge and left in a blinded car tand went to Brazil,

Every year, in the 25th of April, the main celebrations are normally political. Maybe some movements will happen around the Carmo Square close to Chiado where all took place. Last year there was a fair there but don't know what they had.

Main Monuments and museums such as Torre de Belém, Castelo, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos some smaller places might be closed. Many stores and some restaurants will be closed but malls will be open.

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnation_Revolution

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  • Updated Jan 31, 2009
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The procession, photo by Ansumane - Lisbon

The procession, photo by Ansumane

1st Sunday of May: The Main Religious Event

It was 1569 and the city of Lisbon was heavily affected by the plague. It is said 50.000 to 60.000 people died (half of the population of the town). The young king, Sebastião and the population were in panic with the situation. The king asked for help to his uncle, the Spanish King Filipe II and the population started doing processions to ask to the virgin for help.The plague decreased and the population was eternally grateful and built a statue to the Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Our Lady of Health) and celebrated each year, in the 1st Sunday of May a procession to this saint.

It starts at 11h00 and departs from Martim Moniz. The first lady comes and crowns the virgin that has several expensive garments, and each year comes out with a different one. The majority of them are in gold and pearls. This religious manifestation is probably the most important in town.

In here http://ansumane.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html you can see a very nice presentation of the event with excellent pictures.

Website: http://ansumane.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 29, 2009
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Carnival Useful information about Lisbon Review

Although originally a pagan and folk festival, Carnival marks the start of Lent. The high
point of the Portuguese festival is on February 24th, Carnival day, although there are parades, dances and festivities throughout the week featuring famous stars from the world of
Portuguese and Brazilian show business.
Amongst the main Carnival festivities in the Lisboa Region, one of the highlights is the Loures Carnival – a folk carnival – and one of the oldest. This carnival features the famous Cegadas, the Mastronças parade and the traditional Enterro do Entrudo on Ash Wednesday. In this region it is also known as Enterro do Bacalhau (Burial of the Cod) and symbolizes the end of Carnival and the festivities.
To the north of Lisboa there is also the famous Torres Vedras Carnival, described as the “most Portuguese in Portugal”. This carnival maintains the traditions of the Portuguese festival, with a parade of creatively decorated streetcars satirizing society and politics, and where the locals are always the real stars of the festival.
Also not to be missed in this region are the traditional carnivals at Alcobaça, Nazaré and
Sesimbra.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 27, 2009
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Bank Holidays Useful information about Lisbon Review

There are many bank holidays in Lisbon.

1st of January - Almost everything is closed including many stores.
Carnival (thuesday) - Lisbon doesn't have any special celebration for Carnival. However in the nearby towns of Torres Vedras and Sesimbra there are many carnivals. The night in Torres Vedras is a bit crazy.
Friday before easter - No special event in Lisbon. Some monuments are closed but the majority is open. Malls will be open.
Easter Sunday - Museums/monuments are closed. Malls are open.
25th of April - Holiday to celebrate the end of the dictatorship in Portugal. Manly political ceremonies. Main monuments open and malls also.
1 of May - Labour day.Monuments closed. Malls open.
Body of Christ - variable date. No special event around Lisbon. Main monuments open.Malls open.
10 of June - Day of Portugal, Camões and the communities. Mainly political celebrations. Main monuments/museums open.
13 of June - Saint Anthony Day - the main party day in Lisbon. You have marchas populares a sort of carnival in Avenida da Liberdade and then people go to Alfama to party. Main monuments and malls open.
15 of August - Day dedicated to the elevation of the virgin Mary to god. Main monuments and malls open
5 of October - Implantation of the republic. Mainly a political event. Main monuments and malls open.
1 of November - Day of All Saints - People visit cemeteries in this day to remember the deceased ones. Main Monuments and Malls open.
1 of December - Celebrating the restauration of the Independence in 1640 after some years of rulling by Spain. Main monuments, museums and malls open.
8 of December - Imaculada Conceição - Day of the patron saint of Portugal. Most museums, monuments and malls open.
25 of December - Almost everything is closed. Some malls might be open.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 27, 2009
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Statue of the cobblestone worker in Rua da Vitória - Lisbon

Statue of the cobblestone worker in Rua da Vitória

Cobblestones

For the hate of many women the portuguese developed a specific type of pavement. There are peoples of the world known for several sorts of inventions. Well, portugueses are known for the famous calçada portuguesa. Basically many small granite stones, put one by one in the street. In many places there are basalt and granite stones that make effects such as names of places, waves, faces, etc. The problem is that holes do appear quite often and spaces between the stones are bigger than what they should so, high hells frequently get stuck in there. Not only the portuguese women had to suffer but the portugueses exported the technic throughout the world from Brazil to Macau including Angola and other African countries.
The people that do this work have a special formation to do this art. Besides the streets of Lisbon one of the other places famous for the pavement is Calçadão in Rio de Janeiro.
The first work was done by prisioners in 1842 in Lisbon and after spreaded throughout the country and the world. In Rua da Vitória there is erected a statue to this worker.
Rossio, Liberdade Avenue, Chiado and Parque das Nações are good places to see this art.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 25, 2009
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Christmas In Lisbon - Lisbon
Christmas In Lisbon

Christmas is Lisbon is a huge deal. The family is very important in Portugal and people love to give gifts especcially to small children. So expect to find packed malls and huge traffic queues in some places. In the 24th of December it is habit that the ATM terminals don't work due to the peak of transactions required to the system.

Besides this the city of Lisbon is normally full of colorful and beautiful christmas lights especially in Baixa district. In the top of Parque Eduardo VII a huge tree will be set this year. Christmas markets are not very normal in Portugal like in other countries. However in the town of Óbidos they take it most seriously and transform the town into a christmas world. Maybe a bit too touristic for some.

For those who might have the question, it doesn't snow in Lisbon. Temperatures will be between 10ºC and 15ºC. December is the month where more rain falls but chances of sunny days are still pretty high.

The decorations of the houses is done with the traditional christmas tree and nativity scenes. Santa Claus is a popular character amongst the children while in the past it was "menino jesus", baby jesus.

The biggest traditions are of course in food. The traditional plate is codfish, with chicken peas, vegetables and boiled potatoes with olive oil. Turkey is winning its space and some families also have lamb, but the normal is the codfish. In sweets there are many, many different things. The king is bolo rei a sweet cake made of crystalized fruits. It used to have a small gift (forbidden for safety and hygien reasons) and a raw broadbean. Who ever gets the broadbean should buy the next cake. You can buy it everywhere even in supermarkets (the one in Pingo Doce is normally very good and cheap). But there are other sweets such as filhóses, sonhos, rabanadas, broas de mel, etc, etc, etc... In the 25th at lunch it is normally served roupa velha (old clothing) a name for the leftovers of the previous night.

In the 24th of December many catholics still go, at midnight, to church to the Missa do Galo. However the habit is declining.

Merry Christmas!

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 8, 2008
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