Culture Around the World
The rich culture of the Portuguese people is the result of the many different paths taken as they traveled the world.
As each generation integrates with its environment, the Portuguese culture has become even more varied, while managing to retain its core traditions and flavor that make it unique. These articles present curated examples of the best of Portuguese culture -- music, architecture, art, literature and folklore.
Click on an article below.
View some of the festivities from Dia de Portugal 2018
Teaching the story of the birth of Jesus.
Ceramics work in the Azores dates back to the late 15th century, not long after discovery of these Atlantic islands.
The nativity scene known as "lapinha" honors the Baby Jesus.
Miniatures and models are the folk art of Portugal.
The museum's Azorean kitchen exhibit is a re-creation of the typical kitchen of old, the very heart of the home.
Calçada portuguesa, or Portuguese cobblestone pavement, is a unique and authentic art form of small hand cut limestone and basalt stones assembled one-by-one in beautifully intricate patterns and scenes found everywhere in Portugal and abroad, in its former colonies and in other European countries.
Would you believe that the history of "calçada portuguesa" involves a white rhinoceros named Ganga? It was a gift from Afonso de Albuquerque, the founder of the Portuguese Empire in the Orient and Governor of Portuguese India to King Manuel I for his birthday.
The Portuguese Heritage Society of California brought over two skilled "calçeteiros" from Terceira to "calçar" our museum plaza. When their time was running out, they trained some of our own board members in the art of "calçada portuguesa" so that they could finish the project.
Ernesto Matos, in his travels around the world, has captured disconnected images and has built a near exhaustive inventory of his fondness for carpeting the ground with small stones in two colors.
Thirty stacked pieces of bread symbolize the bread that Queen St. Isabel of Portugal gave to the poor.
Portuguese explorers, missionaries, settlers -- and even royalty -- introduced Portuguese food and wine in countries spanning the globe.
From cheese to soups to casseroles, Portuguese cuisine draws upon its roots on the continent and in the islands.
Portugal is deservedly famous for its wines. It ranks fifth in the world for wine exports, behind Italy, France, Spain, and Australia, and ahead of the U.S..
Brazil is Portugal’s largest former colony with its own foods now popular here.
The Portuguese have worked clay since prehistory – it is part of who they are.
Wine succeeded sugar as a Madeira staple.
Madeiran cuisine has European and African heritage.
Hearty soups, fish and pork dishes, linguiça, sausages, and sweet desserts
The most important cultural event in the California Portuguese-American community is the Holy Ghost Festa.
Originating with the legend of Queen St. Isabel crowning a humble person to reign over the festival.
Small structures with a distinct architectural style where the faithful conduct their rituals in devotion to the Holy Spirit.
Holding a “festa” is the result of the year-round activities of the dedicated directors and members of the brotherhoods.
Simple processions gave way to elaborate parades complete with marching bands and floats.
In 1906, a writer for a Santa Clara newspaper referred to the crown bearer as a queen.
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