Easter is a time to celebrate spring and everything that represents the rebirth of life and most importantly: HOPE. No matter what religion you are or faith you follow (if any), I hope each and everyone of you enjoy your Easter celebrations with your family and loved ones. It’s a time for reflection and enjoying a chocolate Easter egg or two! Easter is very respected and hugely celebrated in Portugal as many Portuguese people are devoted catholics. It is a very holy week and festivities are celebrated across Portugal in towns and villages to mark the end of Lent and commemorate the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday is celebrated with mass at church and some cities hold processions and religious rituals such as Compasso – flowers/herbs are placed on doors to receive Compasso – priest and small group will go from house to house to bless it carrying a statue of Jesus which you may kiss. In many towns and villages Easter themes and the Passos (street altars) are filled with flowers and lights. 

Traditional Easter Festive Food

Folar da Pascoa is a large traditional loaf (sweet or savoury bread) and filled with any of the following: salpicão (sausage), veal, chicken, rabbit, serrano ham and decorated with hard boiled eggs (in their shells) placed in the middle, how bizare! Some folar are sweet breads prepared with cinnamon, anise and fennel and decorated with the hard boiled eggs under the braided ‘cross’ of bread dough, again this all varies from region to region. The eggs baked in the dough of the bread represent rebirth and the resurrection of Christ. Children will visit their godparents’ house to be served the folar, an Easter delicacy which symbolises friendship, union and reconciliation. The obligation of giving a folar to the godsons ends when they become adults (18 years old) or when they marry. The godsons should offer too a present to their godmothers a week before on Palm Sunday: a bouquet of violets and a bag of sweet almonds. In the North of Portugal, according to the tradition, they offer a folar to the local priest when he goes to the village, visiting and blessing the parishioners’ houses. This blessing and procession is called Compasso. The most famous savoury folar is the Folar de Chaves (North of Portugal) which is filled with cured meats. In the Algarve (South of Portugal) the Folar de Olhão is very popular, a sweet folar of swirled layers of dough filled with cinnamon and caramalised sugar.

Cabrito (roasted goat) or lamb are popular foods eaten on Easter Sunday and usually meat is avoided during lent. Some people fast on Good Friday or Fridays during Easter or avoid meat all together. Cod fish and vegetables is a popular meal for Good Friday. Pão-de-Ló (sponge cake) is often served for dessert with cheese and port but foods vary a lot depending on region to region. It is very common for Portuguese to offer Amêndoas at this time of year. Godparents often gift this treat to their god children. You will see a wide range for offer in local shops. Amêndoas tipo francês – classic almonds covered in sugar (usually pink, blue and white), Cláudias – chocolate almonds and Amêndoas torradas – almonds coated in caramelised sugar. Drageias de chocolate (tipo belga) are also very popular, technically, these don’t contain an almond but are very common at Easter as not everyone likes or can eat nuts due to allergies. They are made from chocolate with a sugar shell in the shape of an almond in pastel colours. I’m not sure why they are shaped like an almond if they don’t contain a nut, I suppose it’s a bit like vegetarian sausages which I’ve never really understood either – lets make it vegetarian but shape it like a meat sausage. The veggies amongst us will love it and apparently they do. Chocolate eggs and bunnies are also given as gifts. The amêndoas are delicious but brutal on your tooth fillings so none for me after my recent dental visit for cracked filling. I will be sticking firmly to my Cadbury cream eggs with soft centres which I purchased on my recent UK birthday visit.

Mini Festive Folar

On Good Friday we enjoyed a Mr & Mrs Bake Off and made mini folar da Páscoa together for the very first time, how awesome! Last year I failed on my folar mission because the store had sold out of yeast. I have always wanted to bake a traditional Portuguese Easter folar but have always found a reason not too. I think it’s because it is not an easy quick recipe as the dough needs proofing for a while so it’s a lengthy process and patience is not my strong point (ha ha). This year I ceased my opportunity and made the effort as I love to embrace the Portuguese culture especially the culinary delights. I am so glad that I got my ass in gear and made it into the kitchen, an unknown territory to me as hubby is our chef. Folar intrigues me as we don’t have anything like this in the UK, we have Hot Cross Buns. I do love a hot cross bun and we ate 6 between us quite recently. Ours got a bit squished in my suitcase travelling back from the UK but they were still tasty and we enjoyed eating them in our garden under the Portuguese sun.

Our mini folar was a huge success, I’m so glad as I thought it might be a folar fail. We followed the recipe exactly and even got a ruler out to measure the 30cm sausage shaped dough as size matters when it comes to folar. Not too shabby an attempt seeing as hubby is our house chef and my kitchen skills are limited to a GCSE grade B in Food Technology. My school teacher would be proud as she will definitely remember me as I set the school kitchen on fire. They were scrummy yummy and a welcomed addition to our Easter Al fresco brunch. They definitely are a rival for a British hot cross bun. How cute does hubby look in my pretty apron? (ha ha). I ended up eating 3 of these over the Easter weekend and my IBS belly decided to reject them on Monday. I only just made it back from my jog before I had to run to the loo. Hubby asked if I had “Folar through” (Follow through poo). He thinks he is a comedian (ha ha). I look like an air hostess with this tray (ha ha). I suppose I should say air steward but I’m old school.

Sweet Success!

Portuguese Folar Verses British Hot Cross Buns

Folar definitely rivals Hot Cross buns! As I mentioned before, my hot cross buns got more than a bit squished in my suitcase and are as flat as my titties still yummy in my tummy. I was going to freeze some but they were too flat to freeze, well that was my excuse anyway so we shared them and ate the whole pack of 6. Don’t forget to sing the famous song when you eat them (ha ha). Hubby is sad as he broke his sunglasses and only has his mirrored cycling ones. I don’t often let him wear them for joint photos just in case the angle of the reflection reveals more than I bargained for like my fanny (ha ha).

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons.
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

Folar de Maça

We enjoyed an impressive apple folar to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary. Our anniversary coincided with Palm Sunday so we swapped our traditional celebration cake for a folar as I like to embrace everything Portuguese, especially the food. It was delicious and so moist with layers of sticky sugared apple sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it (ha ha).

Bunny Kisses & Easter Wishes

It wouldn’t be Easter without an awesome animal photo shoot with my Easter bunny Milo and Spring chickens. Our Guinea pigs (Rick &. Negan) have no relevance to the Easter theme but they felt left out so we let them join in the festive fun (ha ha). It’s not easy doing a photoshoot with animals (ha ha). It was such a bright day and 30 degrees outside in the shade so we had to do our photoshoot indoors as it was way too hot outdoors for our furry pets. Our feathered friends can get shade under our huge fig tree and enjoy a dirt bath. Apologies as the photos are a mix of extreme bright and deeply dark, I blame the Portuguese sunshine, it’s totally blinding bright. We used hubby’s camera too as it’s way better than my old iPhone. They say never work with children or animals, they ain’t wrong! (ha ha). Rick and Negan loved the heart shaped barley grass. This photoshoot was for my daughter Teanna as Milo is her bunny and she misses him like crazy so we promised an Easter themed bunny photo shoot and filmed her an Easter video message. Sometimes it’s the little acts of kindness that count especially when you can’t celebrate or hug your children at Easter. I think she appreciated our effort and Milo was an angel, bless him. It was so bright that I loaned hubby a pair of my sunglasses as I have 4 pairs. He didn’t want the couple of pairs with gold or sparkly glittery arms and funnily enough he declined my other pair with pink and orange leopard print arms. He selected my Aviator pair which came free with my contact lense order. He thinks he is Tom Cruise (ha ha).

Easter Treats & Table Decorations

I re-use and re-cycle everything so our Easter egg from my Dad is decorated with Christmas themed ribbon (ha ha). I never get bored of the pretty sweeping green views from our lounge, balcony and garden.

Arte Urbana nas Portas do Açor (Urban Art at the Gates of the Açor)

This Easter we took a beautiful stroll through the streets of local Côja and viewed an amazing religious urban art show. The 15 stations of “Via Sacra” (Holy Way) canvasses represent the scenes of the Passion of Christ. The works are by the following artists: Aires dos Santos, Alice Piloto, Antonio Dias, Lena Jorge, Luís Duro, Nelson Santos and Ricardo Rodrigues. It was an extremely emotional and serene experience. It was a roasting hot Easter Saturday and 29 degrees. Maybe a little too hot for an art trail but we enjoyed it.

Info & Map


1. Jesus is sentenced to death
Painter: Aires dos Santos
Location: Rua do Adro

2. Jesus carries the cross on his back
Painter: Alice Piloto
Location: Quelha do Correio Velho

3. Jesus falls for the first time
Painter: Nelson Santos
Location: Rua Desembargador Abel Pereira do Vale

This one was very difficult to photograph because some A hole decided to disrespect religion and park inches from this masterpiece. Nothing ceases to amaze me but it made my blood boil.

4. Jesus meets his mother
Painter: Nelson Santos
Location: Rua da Família Cardoso

5. Simão de Cirene helps Jesus
Painter: Luís Duro
Location: Rua Dom Ernesto Sena de Oliveira

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Painter: Luís Duro
Location: Rua João Gonçalves Matoso

7. Jesus falls a second time
Painter: António Dias
Location: Rua dos Alfobres

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Painter: Antonio Dias
Location: Rua Filarmónica Pátria Nova

9. Jesus falls for the third time
Painter: Lena Jorge
Location: Rua Filarmónica Pátria Nova

10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
Painter: Ricardo Rodrigues
Location: Av. 12 de Setembro

The location of this artwork was very strange, the middle of a roundabout next to the park.

11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
Painter: Ricardo Rodrigues
Location: Rua João Manuel Oliveira

Another piece that was very difficult to photograph due to another inconsiderate car driver. In all fairness this art was placed on a street which is known for vehicles to park on as it’s close to the village shops and slightly less walking than if you park in the car park which is 5 metres further. What can I say, folk are lazy as F!

12. Jesus dies on the cross
Painter: Aires dos Santos
Location: Praça Dr. Alberto do Vale

13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
Painter: Aires dos Santos
Location: Praça Dr. Alberto do Vale

14. Jesus is buried
Painter: Aires dos Santos
Location: Avenida Padre José Vicente

This artwork is located next to a beautiful monument and pretty tiled road plaque. I adore the traditional blue and white Portuguese tiles.

15. The resurrection of Jesus
Painter: Aires dos Santos
Location: Igreja Matriz de Côja

The final piece is awesome and my favourite out of the whole trail. What talented artists and a spectacular trail.


I often find graffiti in such tranquil locations. I found this right opposite the beautiful church. What a total disgrace! As I was photographing the church a man on a motorbike drove right up to the church door, dumped an Auchan shopping bag and sped off on his bike. I was so nervous to investigate and see what he had dumped. my mind was in overdrive and my first thought was it’s 6 puppies then i thought kittens and finally I think the sun got to me as I thought newborn baby. Hubby had wandered off so I reluctantly had a peep all by myself and I took a deep breath. It turned out to be a bag full of chopped logs so panic over (ha ha).

Cõja Easter Decorations

How cute are these Easter decorations in Cõja village?

The Weird & Wonderful – Hubby’s Easter Outfit

Behind one of the Easter displays there is a little village store that always has a funny mannequin outside promoting some form of clothing or costume. Todays offer made us laugh. I said to hubby he should buy it and wear it so we can be matching in our orange outfits. He just need to team it up with an Easter bonnet. The future’s bright, the future’s orange (ha ha).

The Easter Bunny

Never mind the Playboy Mansion Bunny Girls here comes The Menopausal Casa Valhal Menopausal Mansion Bunny Girl! Only we don’t have a mansion or Hugh Hefner just hubby and a little schist casa (ha ha). It’s Easter so there’s only one thing to do. Dress up as a bunny of course and parade around the garden with my chickens (ha ha). I even have a bunny tail! Let me tell you it was not an easy mission trying to photograph my tail. Hubby was at work in the Tábua office so couldn’t assist. In the end I incorporated the help of a wall and a chair because it’s just too awesome not to share (ha ha). I couldn’t use my chocolate Easter egg as a prop because it melted under the Portuguese sun so I had to eat it and improvised by using a carrot instead. My bunny impersonations are spot on and deserve a medal (ha ha). My new €4.95 sunglasses are just like me: Cheap and fully functional with sparkly strong arms. My arms are sparkling from sweat not glitter (ha ha). My ass looks massive in some of these photos! I blame €3 Primarni cheap leggings. I don’t care as it’s only going to get bigger after consuming multiple Easter eggs and folar. It also looks a lot smaller if you take the photo from further away (ha ha). No alcohol was involves in this bunny mission. In my defense I had just visited the dentist (my biggest fear) for a replacement filling as I cracked my tooth on a tuna fish bone. I don’t even have the excuse of the anesthesia as I didn’t have any drugs, I am just high as a kite on Portuguese life (ha ha). As you can tell I don’t take myself too seriously. Hope it makes you laugh, I had a lot of FUN. With LOVE from The Easter Bunny (AKA Helena). 

Arganil Rock

On Saturday night there was a local Rock concert but it didn’t start until 10.30pm. We are not old timers so although we have the enthusiasm of a couple of 21 year old’s we have the staying power of an over tired toddler coming down from a massive sugar rush. We were tucked up in bed by 10pm with a basket full of Easter eggs on our laps and a Netflix film. Someone needs to offer rock concerts for 50 year old’s that start at 1pm (ha ha).

Easter DIY

We wouldn’t be British if we didn’t undertake some DIY on a long Easter weekend (ha ha). Unfortunately we don’t get the luxury of Easter Monday off as it’s not a Bank holiday like the UK. Hubby only got Friday off and had to return to work on Monday so we made the most out of this long weekend. As well as enjoying a relaxed Easter weekend we managed to get up at a reasonable time on Good Friday and Easter Sunday (before it got to hot) and painted a section of the garden railings. We are getting quicker at this job as we are experts now so it only took us 2 1/2 hrs for the 1st coat of paint and just under 2 hrs for the second. Only 1 section left to do and the side of the house then it’s time to pack away my paint brush and unpack my SUP board for Summer SUP and FUN in the SUN!

Easter Sunday Brunch

Wow what an absolutely precious Easter weekend under the glorious Portuguese sun. We ate a gorgeous Easter Sunday brunch alfresco in our little garden oasis. Hubby makes the best ever fluffy pancakes and we enjoyed homemade folar and plenty of other delights followed by card games Exploding kittens the rude edition of course. It was so hot but a tad windy hence my chaotic hair blowing everywhere (ha ha). As well as the wind playing havoc with my hair I always have a wardrobe malfunction and expose my underwear, usually my bra as unfortunately my titties are as flat as my pancakes and most dresses are big on the top half once they fit my rather large rear end. At least I’m wearing underwear today (ha ha).

I am full to bursting and about to explode myself. I look about 6 months pregnant! (ha ha). I do LOVE my food and I balanced it out with some fresh fruit. Pineapple is gorgeous here and my happy hens like to sample the leftovers. Hubby is going to be puzzled as to why my belly is so big as he had a vasectomy as we have 10 children between us. No need to panic folks, I’m not gonna become the oldest mum in the world it’s just pancakes, festive folar and a shed load of chocolate Easter eggs (ha ha).

Perfect Pancakes

How perfect are these pancakes? Hubby is our house chef and I am in charge of party decorations as I’m Little Miss Princess Planner. I like to make an effort and bling up my table with cute decorations for special occasions. It’s my own personal kind of “pimp my ride” but instead of a car it’s a table (ha ha). I recycle and re-use what ever I can lay my hands on around the house and I often forage flowers and herbs from our garden. I have been known to steal some from our neighbours garden too because sharing is caring (ha ha). I also made the effort to make cute little star shapes with the kiwi fruit for our mini desserts and the final touch was a strawberry and a mint leaf from our garden. I have a keen eye for detail and like my food to be plated and presented well. Food presentation is the key to pulling all five senses into the experience of eating. I like to visually taste my food before it touches my tongue. Then I gulp it down like a greedy pig (ha ha).

Alarm Clock Portuguese Style

Who needs an alarm clock when you have a brass band passing by your house at 8.30am on Easter Monday! (ha ha). There were celebrations at our village church all day long on Monday which was lovely. I took a stroll down after my jog to join in the festivities.

Bloated or Baby on Board – Final Funny

It’s not a bun in the oven, well technically it is, it’s folar (ha ha). Gluten and IBS are not a match made in heaven! I love that hubby just happened to accidentally stroll right into the background of my last photo. He visited the powder room for a pee pee and was oblivious to my crazy antics (ha ha). Gosh I LOVE eating al fresco and living in Portugal. I did try and gift some of our Cadbury cream eggs to our neighbour who came to visit their holiday home for the Easter break but every time I sent hubby up to his balcony he was on the phone and by the time he had ended his call we only had 2 out of 10 left and I felt embarrassed to offer such a pathetic gift so we ate the lot.

Whatever lifts your spirits, brings you hope and fills you with the miracle of Easter, that’s what I’m wishing for you.

Stay blessed and have a Happy Easter from Helena (AKA The Easter Bunny) & The Crazy Crew.