Q:

What is the national dress of Portugal?

A:

The typical national dress of Portugal for women is bouffant, or puffy, skirts with patterned fabrics and kerchiefs. For men it is sombreros, calsas (short leggings) and waistcoats. Clothing is usually brightly colored and patterned with stripes or checkered.

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The national dress of Portugal varies depending on the region of the country. According to Portugal-live, costumes range from the regions of Alentejo and Minho to Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. In Alentejo cattleman wear short jackets with fur collars, called samarras, and brightly colored stocking caps. In Minho, women deck themselves out for festivals in colorful dresses, scarves and several long necklaces. In Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, shepherds wear cloaks made out of straw. Wearing black for mourning is also a common practice.

The Portuguese often break out these costumes and traditional clothing during festivals, of which some of the most popular are romarias, or pilgrimages based on religion. Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is one of these festivals. They include processions followed by carnivals with feasting, Bible performances and dancing. Traditional folk dances, such as the vira, fandango, chula, corridinho and tirana, are a part of these festivals where the national costumes are a key component. The vira, for instance, is much like the waltz.

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