Picture Postcards: Haberdashery shopfront in Lisbon, Portugal

This week’s shopfront is in Lisbon, Portugal and the photo was taken by our contributing editor, Ana.

Read more:
Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts)
5 Interesting Facts About Portugal
The Man Who Saved 30,000 Refugees

February 13, 2012 3 comments

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts)

Pastéis de Nata are one of the most famous Portuguese pastries. Once you put your feet for the first time in Lisbon, you know you will end up at Pastéis de Belém, enjoying this egg tart pastry, sprinkled, comme il faut, with cinnamon and powdered sugar.


You also know that you should be patient because many people will be there on the waiting line. However, you know it will be worth it, not only because of the quality of the pastry, but also because you are in the place where the first globalization of the world has begun, Belém.


February 8, 2012 6 comments

PocketCultures world tour: best of 2011

Happy New Year! Our roundup of 2011 begins with a reminder that 1st January is not the beginning of a new year throughout the world. Carla wrote that Brazilians consider the year to start after February’s carnival, and Anu wrote about new year celebrations which take place at different times in different parts of India. Of course many parts of the world do celebrate the start of the New Year on January 1st, and Sandra’s post explained all about new year celebrations in Portugal.

Bolo Rei
Bolo Rei – part of the New Year celebrations in Portugal. Credit.


December 31, 2011 1 comment

Magusto: a Portuguese Autumn celebration

Magusto is a popular festivity in Portugal, especially on Saint Simon’s Day (29th September), All Saint’s Day (1st November) and Saint Martin’s Day (11th November). People sing and play during these evenings celebrating the crops and the life in the countryside. Galiza (Spain) celebrates it too, and they call it “magosto”.

Groups of friends and family, especially in the countryside, get together near a fogueira (bonfire) to eat baked castanhas (chestnuts) and drink jeropiga and água-pé, two traditional Portuguese alcoholic beverages. If the first one is sweeter and more alcoholic than usual wine because we make it with aguardente (“fiery water”, a kind of young brandy), the second one isn’t so alcoholic because it’s done with water. Either the water or the fiery water are added to the residual pomace from wine making. (more…)

November 9, 2011 1 comment

From our contributors: week of October 25th

We continue with our bi-weekly roundup of articles written by some members of our contributors team on their personal blogs.

Sandra, our contributor from Portugal, published a series of posts where she pairs a Dutch flower with a Portuguese song. A fun and entertaining way to enjoy beautiful flowers and great music.

Jenna, our contributor from Poland, describes her backpacking journey across Poland, visiting the towns where her ancestors came from and how those places have shaped the person she is today.

“And I’m even more dumbfounded by the history of seemingly coincidental connections that shaped my family past and who I am. Each of my great-grandparents moved from these very similar places in Poland to America – alone. As far as I know, they all met and married in America. Yet, their home villages were all so much alike – places that have probably retained these similar characteristics for over a century.”

Marta, our contributor from Spain, writes about 48H Open House BCN, an event during which more than 160 buildings open their doors to the public.

“48H Open House BCN means the chance to visit more than 160 amazing buildings in Barcelona, next weekend, and completely for free. I think it’s a really interesting activity, as many of the buildings are not usually open to the public for a guided visit.”

Mike, our contributor from Japan, brings us photo essay about old staircases in Okinawa.

“On the outer islands of Okinawa, Japan there are many old caves and sacred wells. Some of them are pretty cool and they make great subjects for photography.”

Read more

From our contributors: week of October 11
Italian food lover in California
Ethiopian art and culture

October 25, 2011 Comments disabled

Fátima: the most famous Portuguese centre of Christian pilgrimage

October is Virgin Mary’s month. In Portugal, it’s time to pay a special visit to Our Lady of Fátima sanctuary, in Cova de Iria (Leiria). There, especially on the 13, we will find Catholics from all over the world celebrating the last appearance of the Virgin Mary in October 1917.

The Three Shepherd Children

According to the Catholic Church, Nossa Senhora de Fátima (Our Lady of Fatima) appeared to three shepherd children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May,13 and ending on October,13. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

Jacinta died in 1920 and Francisco in 1919. The siblings were victims of the great influenza epidemic that swept through Europe in 1918. Sister Lúcia, born in 1907, became a Carmelite nun in a monastery in Coimbra and died six years ago. (more…)

October 21, 2011 Comments disabled