In the period that celebrates the resurrection of Christ, there is an element common to all tables in Portugal, the Easter folar, a delicious cake in its simplicity whose history and traditions are important to know. With one or more hard-boiled eggs on top, the most popular folar is made from a dry dough with a little bit of cinnamon and makes everyone’s delight, from the smallest to the oldest. You know, for sure, that this is traditionally offered to godchildren on Easter Sunday. The reason? A legend that associates folar with friendship and reconciliation, important values to transmit at any time of the year.
The legend of Easter folar is so old that its date of origin is unknown.
Legend has it that, in a Portuguese village, there lived a young woman named Mariana who had the only desire in life to marry early. She prayed to Santa Catarina so much that her will was fulfilled and soon two suitors appeared: a rich nobleman and a poor farmer, both young and handsome. The young woman again asked Santa Catarina for help in making the right choice.
While concentrating on her prayer, she knocked on the door Amaro, the poor farmer, asking for an answer and setting Palm Sunday as the deadline. A little while later, on that same day, the nobleman appeared to ask him for a decision. Mariana didn’t know what to do.
When Palm Sunday arrived, a neighbor was very distressed to warn Mariana that the nobleman and the farmer had met on the way to her home and that, at that moment, they were fighting a death struggle. Mariana ran to the place where the two were facing each other and it was then that, after asking Santa Catarina for help, Mariana released the name of Amaro, the poor farmer.
On the eve of Easter Sunday, Mariana was tormented, because she had been told that the nobleman would show up on his wedding day to kill Amaro. Mariana prayed to Santa Catarina and the image of Santa, it seems, smiled at her.
The next day, Mariana went to put flowers on the altar of the Saint and, when she arrived home, she noticed that, on the table, there was a big cake with whole eggs, surrounded by flowers, the same ones that Mariana had put on the altar. She ran to Amaro’s house, but found him on the way and he told her that he had also received a similar cake.
Thinking it was the nobleman’s idea, they went to her house to thank her, but he had also received the same type of cake. Mariana was convinced that everything had been the work of Santa Catarina.
Initially called folore, the cake came to be known as folar over time and became a tradition that celebrates friendship and reconciliation. During Christian Easter festivities, godchildren usually bring a bouquet of violets to the baptism godmother on Palm Sunday, and the latter, on Easter Sunday, offers him a folar in return.