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Magusto 2020

A joyful harvest celebration when family and friends gather near the bonfire

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Magusto is a traditional folk holiday that is celebrated in different parts of the country either on Saint Simon's Day (September 29), on All Saints' Day (November 1) or on Saint Martin's Day (November 11). Generally, the word “magusto” comes from the Latin “magnus ustus” and means “big fire,” so the celebrations are marked by bonfire gatherings of close friends and families.

If you are in Portugal during the fall, you will meet numerous magustos festivities, where you can feel the smell of baked chestnuts and relish the traditional jeropiga, água-pé, and alcohol drinks resembling brandy. During the festival, various foods have been integrated, such as sausages and other products made from pig slaughter. A great traditional delicacy in this region, grilled sardines, are also served during festivities.

Throughout festival, the streets are usually packed with young people. Ritually, the boys bring the wine, and the girls bring the chestnuts. The bonfires are typically lit with pine needles and sticks, and the chestnuts are roasted directly in the fire. The adults sing and dance, jumping over the fire while children play wildly to dirt their faces with ash and soot.

Magusto bonfire in Ginzo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal 2020
Magusto bonfire in Ginzo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
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Magusto, as a nice family holiday, is especially appreciated in Lisbon, Beira Baixa (especially Alcains), northern Trás-os-Montes, Penafiel and Golegã.

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