Dia de Espiga – a century old tradition

If you are walking around Lisbon today and you happen to see people selling beautiful little bouquets that’s because today is “Dia de Espiga”.

This day is celebrated in Portugal every year, on Maundy Thursday, and it used to be the day people went out to the fields to collect flowers and cereal spikes to make a special bouquet called “Espiga”.

Every flower had its own meaning: people collected spikes for bread, daisies for wealth, olive branches for peace, poppies for love, rosemary for health and grapevine for joy.

According to the tradition, this bouquet should be hung behind a door all year round and should only be removed the following year, being replaced by a new one.

People believed the “Espiga” brought good luck and that this way there would always be food around the house.

Now a days we don’t go out to collect the “Espiga” but the tradition of buying them on the streets still exists.

So now you know! If you see someone selling the “Espiga” feel free to stop and buy one. Not only they will bring you food and luck all year round but they also make a charming little gift.

 

 

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