1st May -May Day

Algarve Life - Amanda Gleaves
2 min readMay 1, 2023


May day traditions in Portugal

I cannot believe it is May already. Where have the months gone? We are halfway through the year! (almost)

Already went to practice this morning with Dirk. We have a duo in which he plays guitar and a box drum, and I sing and play a little percussion. I have also taken up the Kazoo — apparently! I am getting quite good now. It is beginning to sound like a trumpet and not a dying duck.

We are practicing hard because we have a gig at the Rock and Wine Bar in São bras on Friday, so come and support us — we would love to see you there.

Today is quite a big holiday here and most places are closed. It is one of the holidays were most people like to go out for the day and have a picnic, or gather with family and friend and just have a lot of fun.

It is a national holiday and most places will be closed.

This is on the Eve of Festa da Pinha, in Estoi.

Very old photo from 1987

Festa da Pinha is held on the 2nd and 3rd of May and is a popular event that attracts visitors from all over the region. T.his is not a national holiday though.

The origins of the Festa da Pinha are unclear; a secular tradition, which according to oral sources dates back more than two centuries. A time when people would travel from the north to the south to exchange goods.

The preparations begin a few days in advance: tractors, cars and even the horses are decorated with palm branches and flowers.

I went to this Festa back in 87, when I first cam to Portugal. We were staying in Ludo, where the ‘travellers’ congregate and set up camp. There they spend the whole day (2nd May) and return back to Estoi at night.

For more information see this article. https://maisalgarve.pt/2023/04/27/uf-de-conceicao-e-estoi-festa-da-pinha-2023/

At the end of the celebration they set off fireworks. Just like any other celebration here!

If you have never seen it before it is worth a visit!

Stay cool! E até amanhã!




Algarve Life - Amanda Gleaves

I have been living in the Algarve in Portugal since 1989! I have been teaching Portuguese to foreigners for nearly 20 years! https://portugueseinsixweeks.com/