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Culture Around the World

The rich culture of the Portuguese people is the result of the many different paths taken as they traveled the world.

As each generation integrates with its environment, the Portuguese culture has become even more varied, while managing to retain its core traditions and flavor that make it unique. These articles present curated examples of the best of Portuguese culture -- music, architecture, art, literature and folklore.

Click on an article below.

Dia de Portugal 2018

View some of the festivities from Dia de Portugal 2018

Nativity Scenes, or Presépios

Teaching the story of the birth of Jesus.

Artisans Create Nativity Scenes

Ceramics work in the Azores dates back to the late 15th century, not long after discovery of these Atlantic islands.

Madeiran Nativity Scenes

The nativity scene known as "lapinha" honors the Baby Jesus.

Miniatures and Models

Miniatures and models are the folk art of Portugal.

Traditional Azorean Kitchen

The museum's Azorean kitchen exhibit is a re-creation of the typical kitchen of old, the very heart of the home.

Calçada Portuguesa

Calçada portuguesa, or Portuguese cobblestone pavement, is a unique and authentic art form of small hand cut limestone and basalt stones assembled one-by-one in beautifully intricate patterns and scenes found everywhere in Portugal and abroad, in its former colonies and in other European countries.

Calçada Portuguesa -- History

Would you believe that the history of "calçada portuguesa" involves a white rhinoceros named Ganga? It was a gift from Afonso de Albuquerque, the founder of the Portuguese Empire in the Orient and Governor of Portuguese India to King Manuel I for his birthday.

Calçeteiros -- Cobblestone Craftsmen

The Portuguese Heritage Society of California brought over two skilled "calçeteiros" from Terceira to "calçar" our museum plaza. When their time was running out, they trained some of our own board members in the art of "calçada portuguesa" so that they could finish the project.

Tradition of the Tabuleiros

Thirty stacked pieces of bread symbolize the bread that Queen St. Isabel of Portugal gave to the poor.

We All Love to Eat

Portuguese explorers, missionaries, settlers -- and even royalty -- introduced Portuguese food and wine in countries spanning the globe.

Let's Eat

From cheese to soups to casseroles, Portuguese cuisine draws upon its roots on the continent and in the islands.

Wines

Portugal is deservedly famous for its wines. It ranks fifth in the world for wine exports, behind Italy, France, Spain, and Australia, and ahead of the U.S..

About Brazilian Food

Brazil is Portugal’s largest former colony with its own foods now popular here.

Ceramics for Your Table

The Portuguese have worked clay since prehistory – it is part of who they are.


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