Nazaré & Petticoats

Nazaré, one of Portugal’s most traditional fisher villages is a two hours’ drive north of Lisbon on Portugal’s Atlantic coast. It has a special folklore with a special costume.

Traditionally women use seven petticoats. Some say they represent the 7 days of the week or the 7 colors of the rainbow. The true reason is well hidden, but one knows that in the old days, they would sit on the beach waiting for their fishermen to sail home. To keep warm in the face of a cold sea winds while staying modestly covered, they wore several petticoats in order to fold layers around their backs and legs.

Even today, older and more traditional women wear short skirts made bulky by several very colorful petticoats. The ensemble is completed with house slippers, an embroidered apron made by the wearer. During festivities, a small woolen cape, head scarf, and flamboyant jewelry with chunky gold earrings top off the look.

These flamboyant friendly women, if nicely asked will let you count and confirm the 7 petticoats. Worth a visit!

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