I was thinking about Portuguese traditions and I decided to share with you something that is already part of the popular tradition by this time of the year and a very dear family tradition for me, too. My Grandmother used to buy a vase of "manjerico" - sweet basil - and take care of it, most of the times until Christmas! The plant is very delicate and smells deliciously, but has a short period of "living". This one will probably last for a couple of months, so you can see how my Grandmother really knew how to do it! I miss her so much and not only because of the plants... :)

These vases are also part of the tradition of Festas Populares, celebrating Santo António de Lisboa, São João e São Pedro. Tomorrow, June 13th, Lisbon and some other parts of the country celebrate Santo António, who was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. Though he died in Padua, Italy, he was born to a wealthy family in Lisbon, where he was raised. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of Scripture, he was declared a saint almost immediately after his death. Santo António is known here in Portugal (but also in Spain and Brazil) as a marriage saint, because there are legends of him reconciling couples. His feast day is celebrated with parades in the different neighbourhoods, sweet basil vases, roasted sardines, stanzas of four lines and marriages.
found pic @ Down East Stained Glass
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