Bread-for-God, the Portuguese tradition for Nov the 1st

     While the rest of the world celebrates Halloween on October the 31st, in Portugal we have our very own tradition. We also give candies to the kids, but they need to behave.

     Like in many European countries the 1st of November is the day to visit the tomb of our deceased relatives, clean it and bring fresh flowers, preferably chrysanthemums. We call it “All Saints Day”, assuming that all our deceased ones could be saints.

     For kids this is one of the most important days of the year. They all wake up early, dress their best clothes and gather in small groups. Mums finish ironing their fabric bags, generally embroidered or hand painted and let them go.

    They’ll pass by every house of the town singing “Pão por deus, Pão por deus, Saco cheio, E vamos com deus” aka “Bread for god, Bread for god, With a full bag, We’ll go with god” and the neighbors will give them candies, chocolates or homemade cakes. Obviously kisses and compliments like “you’re so grown-up now” are also a must.

    Unfortunately this tradition is only alive in small towns and since Troika forced our government to erase this holiday, this is the last year, sigh. Still, I was rather happy to welcome all the kids of the neighborhood, remembering how much I used to love this day.