15 Things that only exist in Portugal

Portugal has a rich history and traditions that have endured over the years.

There are traditions, flavors and artistic styles that can only be found in Portugal and others that, although they have reached worldwide fame, have in Portugal its cradle.

Browse the gallery and discover these 15 traditions that make Portugal a unique place and exalt what it is to be Portuguese.


Handkerchief of the lovers

Lovers handkerchief

The handkerchief of the lovers is a piece of handicraft and clothes typical of Minho, being used by women of marriageable age.

It was customary for the girl in love to embroider the handkerchief and hand it over to her lover when he left. In the scarves related to embroidery and various designs.



The Xávega art

It is practiced only in Portugal, between Espinho and Costa da Caparica.

These are artisanal fishing, made with purse seines and their equipment is composed of a cable with floats, having in its half-length a conical net bag (Xalavar).

In the past, the collection was done with the aid of oxen joints and manual strength, currently by mechanical traction.


Zé Povinho

Zé Povinho

Zé Povinho is a satirical character of social criticism, created by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro and adopted as Portuguese national personification.



Rug of Arraiolos

The point called Arraiolos is an oblique cross-stitch composed of two half-crosses that form a complete Arraiolos point.

The Portuguese embroidered tapestry, embroidered with the name of Bordado de Arraiolos, dates only from the beginning of the 17th century, but it is possible to suppose that it was practiced much earlier since the oblique cross stitch had also been practiced in the Iberian Peninsula since the 12th century.



Pauliteiros de Miranda

Pauliteiros are practitioners of the warrior dance characteristic of the Terras de Miranda, called dance of sticks, representative of local historical moments accompanied by the sounds of bagpipes, box and bass drum and is danced by eight men wearing embroidered skirt and linen shirt , a brown vest, leather boots, wool socks and a hat, which can be decorated with flowers, and finally by two sticks with which they make a series of different steps and coordinated movements.



Conventual Sweets

The origin of the conventual sweets in Portugal will originate in the 15th century.

It would have been at that moment that sugar entered the gastronomic tradition of the convents.

The list of convent candies is extensive and covers all regions of Portugal.


Porto Wine

Port wine

Although produced with Douro grapes and stored in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, this alcoholic beverage was known as "port wine" from the second half of the 17th century because it was exported to the whole world from this city.


Barcelos rooster

Barcelos rooster

The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos narrates the miraculous intervention of a dead rooster in the proof of the innocence of a man mistakenly accused.

The Barcelos Rooster is today an icon of the whole country, and the common citizen only associates it with the city of Barcelos because the name that does not give him another hypothesis



Baroque Joanino

The Baroque Joanino designation refers to the various artistic currents that coexisted in Portugal during the reign of John V.

The Baroque Joanino had the great merit of being open to the influences of the international currents, amalgamating them with the artistic tradition of the national workshops and producing some of the most emblematic works of Portuguese art.



Manueline style

The Manueline style, sometimes also called Portuguese Late Gothic or Flaming, is a decorative style, sculptural and mobile art that developed in the reign of D. Manuel I.

It is a Portuguese variation of the final Gothic, as well as Luso-Moorish art or Mudejar art, marked by a systematization of own iconographic motifs, large, symbolizing royal power.


Festas e Romarias

Festivals and Celebrations

The Festivals and Pilgrimages are undoubtedly a typical feature of popular and traditional Portuguese culture.

These extremely numerous and varied manifestations take place all over the country, particularly in the months of June, July, August, and September, and are part of the traditions and memories of a people struggling to maintain the secular culture that gives it an identity.




Careto is a masked character from the carnival of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Portugal.

It is a man wearing a mask with a protruding nose made of leather, brass or wood painted with vivid colors of yellow, red or black.

In another version, the mask, made of alder wood decorated with horns and other paraphernalia, is used in Lazarim.

The tradition of the Caretos is thought to have Celtic roots, from a pre-Roman period.



Portuguese Tiles

The tile is one of the most distinctive marks of what is the Portuguese culture.

The constitution of many of the Portuguese buildings and public spaces are ornamented and complemented with the figures represented in these spaces of blue tonality.




Filigree is an ornamental work made from very fine yarns and small metal balls (*), welded in order to compose a drawing.

Nowadays, the filigree pieces can be found with great visibility in the Northern Region of Portugal, often used in the traditional wedding dress as a whole, and also in the feminine dress of the Minho folkloric ranches.

* Personal note - Traditionally, the filigree is made of precious metals like gold and silver. 




Fado is a Portuguese musical style, was elevated to the category of Cultural and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2011.

The fado only became known in the streets of Lisbon after 1840. In the first half of the twentieth century, already in Portugal, fado was acquiring great melodic richness and rhythmic complexity, becoming more literary and more artistic.


Original article https://viagens.sapo.pt/viajar/viajar-portugal/artigos/isto-so-aqui-15-coisas-que-so-existem-em-portugal