Portugal takes pride in being an independent kingdom since the early twelfth century. As one of the oldest European nations Portugal has been home to Celts, Visigoths, Arabs and Romans. Historians suggest that Portuguese culture is a blend of numerous civilizations, varied practices, and beliefs as a result of these foreign influences. Variety and uniqueness of Portuguese culture may be experienced by being a part of its annual festivals also known as Festas. They are a complete celebration and reflection of the rich Portuguese culture. Most festivals reflect the amalgamation of diverse cultures along with ancient traditional rituals.
The Portuguese have a deep sense of religion and respect for their age-old traditions. Most customary practices are passed on from one generation to another within the family or community. Most traditional practices have survived the test of time, and celebrations undertaken bear a close resemblance to customs followed in the past. In fact, historians have observed that a number of such festivals have survived diverse regimes and cultures. Apart from upholding traditional practices, modern festivals are also celebrated with equal zest and fervor. Such festivals exemplify modern culture.
The roots of Portuguese culture are tied to its primitive past. This includes invasions by various foreign leaders as well as practices adapted from foreign visits. Explorers from several countries have visited Portugal during their voyages. This was possible because of Portugal?s expansive Atlantic coast. Navigators and captains fought pirates and embarked on new trade and sea routes. Such journeys were often fatal, but successful ventures helped bring back foreign tradition, culture, and education.
Culture is reflected in numerous religious festivals, pilgrimages, traditional dances, shaman practices, cuisine, and wine. Portuguese culture is also showcased in numerous religious processions, music, dance, art, and literature. The Portuguese government has taken great measures to preserve its archaeological remains. The government has ensured adequate upkeep of its prehistoric cave paintings, Roman townships, temples, and towns.