Halloween is an annual observance every 31 October in Portugal. It is not an official holiday, but it is a fun festive event just before the more serious All Saints and All Souls Days at the start of November. Though it has modern roots in American popular culture, Halloween’s true origins are in centuries old Celtic and Christian traditions.
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Halloween is an American-sourced holiday in Portugal, but it has unquestionably established itself here since the 1990s. The influence of American TV and movies seems to have been the major influence that led to this change in recent decades.
Costume parties and public festivals are the keynotes of Portuguese Halloweens, but you will see at least a limited number of kids going trick-or-treat on 31 October as well.
In certain parts of Portugal, however, kids stick mainly with the doors of relatives and family friends and ask for bread instead of candy. They may also get cakes, nuts, or fruits, and they must recite or sing a verse to “earn” their reward. But there may be a playful giving of excuses why one can’t deliver the goodies and a response with feigned “threats” if they don’t. It’s all a part of the game here and not taken seriously.