Portuguese Traditions: Dia da Espiga

portuguese-traditions

This morning our student Vance (USA) came to the school with a beautiful flower bouquet saying everybody was selling bouquets in the street. Do you want to know why?

Well, today we celebrate "Dia da Espiga" or "Quinta-feira da Espiga". It always falls on a Thursday, 40 days after Easter and it is a catholic religious celebration with pagan origins.

Early in the morning, boys and girls go to the fields to pick ears of wheat and other flowers and make bouquets out of them.

Each flower in the bouquet (called "Ramo de Espigas") has a specific meaning:

"Espiga" (ear of wheat): stands for bread and prosperity

"Malmequer" (daisy): stands for fortune

"Papoila" (poppy): stands for love

"Oliveira" (olive branch): stands for peace

"Alecrim" (rosemary): stands for health

"Videira" (vine leaves): stands for joy

 

The bouquet has to be kept in the house (often behind the door) throughout the year as a symbol of prosperity.

 

Feliz Dia da Espiga!