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Tales & Traditions

Melgaço, the northernmost region of Portugal, also invites you to take a journey through the mysticism secrets of the town through the tales and stories that help to illustrate the spirit of resilience of the locals. 

Alumiada a São Tomé

This tradition is lost in time in the history of some of the most picturesque places in the Parish of Penso.

It is a unique tradition, which has been maintained for generations!

Castro Laboreiro, Brandas, Inverneiras

For some centuries, the inhabitants of Melgaço used two types of temporary housing: the villages Brandas and the villages Inverneiras. To find food for animals and ensure human survival, people change housing, depending on needs of the seasonThe  Inverneiras were occupied during winter, while as Brandas were occupied in the rest of the year. 

Farrangalheiros (Castro Laboreiro)

The Entroido in Castro Laboreiro it was one of the most participatory parties in the parish with balls and masquerades in many places. The dances took place on the threshing floor. ‘Bombs’ and even ‘rockets’ announced the party.The Entroido crastejo is the Farrangalheiro that in those days they went to the balls, walked on the paths and in the houses.

Fishing tradition in pesqueiras of Minho river

These almost millenary constructions (11th century) are important cultural assets, part of the landscape heritage of Melgaço. They testify to ancestral knowledge in the art of lamprey fishing. Lamprey rice is one of the most typical dishes of Melgaço.

Castrejas women “widows of the living”

In distant times, the Castreja woman who had her husband far away, in a foreign country, dressed in black to simultaneously express the pain of an absence and the vow to keep allegiance to her distant companion. The life of these widows and the women, in general, dependent on an emigrant relative, did not change with the emigration of the ‘head of the family’.