Pão-por-Deus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Pão-por-Deus (Bread in the name of God) celebration is a Portuguese tradition celebrated all over Portugal by children up to the age of 10 or older on 1 November, the same day of Dia de Todos-os-Santos (All Saints' Day). It is the soulmass-cakes given to the poor on All Saints Day.[1]

Customs[edit]

Bolinhos e bolinhós
(cookies and sugary cookies)
For me and for you,
To give to the deceased
Who are dead and buried
To the beautiful, beautiful cross
knock, knock
The lady who is inside
Sitting on a stool
Please get up
To come and give us a penny
[2]

From early in the morning (8 or 9 am) children meet together and walk around the neighborhood, knock at all doors and local stores and say "Pão-por-Deus" to the adults they meet.

People at home give them small gifts such as broas (small bread-like cakes flavored heavily with anise and nuts), chocolates, candy, nuts, fruit, or in some cases, money.[3]

At the local stores the offers are different. A store may give the children treats or a sample of a product they sell: bakers give a little bread, fruit stalls give some chestnuts, and so on.

In the Azores the children are given a cake called "caspiada" during this ritual begging.The cakes have the shape of the top of a skull.[4]

The pão-por-deus or Santoro is the bread, or offering, that is given to the dead, the Molete or Samagaio (also called sabatina, raiva da criança (child's rage)) is the bread, or offering, that is given when a child is born. [5][6]

Origins[edit]

There are records of the day of Pão-por-Deus in the 15th century.[7] On 1 November 1755 in Lisbon, after the vast majority of the city's residents lost everything to the Great Lisbon Earthquake the survivors had to ask for this bread in the neighbouring towns.

See also[edit]

References[edit]