Never Late for a Good Cause!


Photography: Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa 

Nature and Wildlife lovers as we are, we try to pass to others the good practice of conservation and respect for the elements that surrrounds us.

This year we decided to go a little bit further and try to be more helpful. Because we don’t need only to have a voice, we need to be active as well!

Therefore, for each person that join us in a tour, 1€ will go to our fund to the cause we joined, which is to help the Iberian Lynx! It doesn’t sound like much, but we are sure that in the end it will make all the difference.

And why the Iberian Lynx? To tell you the truth, it was quiet difficult for us to choose a cause, since – unfortunately -, there are so many species and Nature related projects that deserve all our attention and help.

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Dia de Reis Traditions

Three Wise Men, Henry Collier.jpg

Three Wise Men, Collier

Happy Dia de Reis everyone!

Original in Portuguese, Dia de Reis is known in English as Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day. Celebrated a little bit everywhere in the World, in Portugal the traditions are taken very seriously.

This day, January the 6th, officially ends the Christmas festivities. Suposly, this was the day when the Three Wiseman visited baby Jesus and offered him presents. In Portuguese, their names are Baltazar, Belchior and Gaspar.

Note: the last one, is not popular among Portuguese people anylonger… since someone called Vítor Gaspar was the Finance Minister and led the country through a rough moment! xD

Although the festivites end, we end the season, of course, with a big party. The tradition tell us to eat a Bolo Rei – or King Cake. When we were kids, this cake was baked with a fava bean inside or a small gift (usually, a porcelain miniature).

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Praise the Day of Portugal!

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Photography: Backyard Tours

Did you know that today we are celebrating the Day of Portugal?

Our last post was also a about a celebration – April 25th -, and the truth is, the day of today is somehow related with the Carnation Revolution.

But June 10 is not only the Day of Portugal, but also the Day of Camões and the Portuguese Communities. What a kerfuffle!

Let us briefly explain. Luís de Camões was a poet in the 16th Century and he represented the homeland, splendor and glory of Portugal. We will write about him in another post, but we leave here the idea of how important he was, inspirational human being, praising the Portuguese and all our glories.

Since he was a reference, when our First Republic was establish in 1910, it was decreed that June 10 would be his day – precisely the day he died in the year of 1580.

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1974, April 25th Carnation Revolution

25 de Abril 1974.jpg

An important date is coming closer for the Portuguese people – April 25th, Dia da Liberdade (Freedom Day). It is of the most importance and still very recent.

Let us tell you why… Before 1974, Portugal was in a fascist regime, the Estado Novo (“New State”), under the Minister President, António de Oliveira Salazar control, for four decades. Portugal was a poor country and was constantly oppressed in civil rights and political freedom. Many people debate if this was or not a fascist regime, but it was an authoritarian conservative regime certainly.

Salazar.jpgAntónio de Oliveira Salazar

Reaching a point of big depression and decay, a group of Portuguese low-ranking militaries gathered and created the MFA- Movimento das Forças Armadas (Armed Forces Movement), in Lisbon, to end with Estado Novo regime and change the government into a democracy.

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Portuguese Expressions

pulga atrás da orelha - junkhead.jpg
Translation: Flea behind the ear (meaning: being suspicious about something)

The Portuguese language can be very complex and tricky. It happens very often, sentences or phrases have a second meaning: sometimes good, others sarcastic, but most of the times naughty …

Sure they are funny and curious. It is something that makes part of us. Since kids we’re used to hear them from our parents, grandparents, neighbors, the owner of the local shop in the corner… And for that, we even don’t ask anymore where some of the expressions originally came from. It just makes all the sense to us!

burro velho não aprende línguas.png
Translation: Old donkey doesn’t learn languages (meaning: too late to change)

Some expressions differ by region, but some are the same everywhere so everyone knows them. Although it’s difficult to transmit the idea behind the expression, and trying not to lost it during translation, we are going to leave you here some very typical and amusing Portuguese expressions!

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Fernando Pessoa, The Man With All The Dreams In The World

Portrait of Fernando Pessoa, Alamada Negreiros (1964).jpg

Portrait of Fernando Pessoa by Almada de Negreiros, 1964

Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon, in June 13th of 1888. He was a writer and poet and left a beautiful heritage to our country – his words.

As almost every great mind and artist, he didn’t had the most easy or happy life. After his father death on Pessoa’s 5th anniversary, and his brother death right after, on the next year – 1894 -, his mother wed a consul of Portugal in Durban (South Africa), where they end up living for the next years of his life.

Being educated in South Africa, he learned English and started to write poems in that language. By this time, he already created some heteronyms* and manifested a creative and very sensitive mind.

In 1901, another tragedy affects the family – this time, his youngest sister dies; but his mother give birth a fourth son from his stepfather, pushing Pessoa further away from love and affection. He returns definitely to Portugal in the year of 1905, leaving the family in South Africa.

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