Easter Tradition || The Cycle of Life and Death

Last updated Mar 18, 2021

How do Portuguese people relate with Goats and Sheep during Easter time? And how does that relationship relates to the Cycle of Life and Death?

Here in Portugal, there is a ritual of eating goat or sheep meat during Easter celebrations. I always knew it was tradition, but never gave it too much thought on why this happened. Today morning I was reflecting about Easter and its meaning outside the catholic church, and had this realisation about how old this practise of eating these animal’s bodies must actually be. I mean… can you imagine how far back it goes?⁠

Animal, plant, fungi… the act of eating another’s body is a very intimate act. I’ve heard that it is even more intimate than having sex because when you eat, you literally incorporate that being into yourself. So, in a way, when you eat Goat, Goat becomes… you. This is a practise that has ritually been repeated over and over again over thousands of years. Even though so many of us don’t think much about it, our relationship to these animal is really old, and very deep.⁠

Their bodies sustain ours, as ours will one day sustain others. To my eyes, this is probably the most sacred thing there is. The Cycle of Life and Death.⁠

So every year around this time, Goat and Sheep sustain those that eat their meat. As do many other beings, such as Chicken with their eggs and Wheat with their seeds. ⁠

I am grateful for all they give us. And I’m so very grateful we all inhabit this beautiful Earth together. Happy Easter, if you celebrate it. And if not… Happy Spring ♥️⁠

Two goats with cloudy sky behind | Cycle of Life and Death

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might also like The Portuguese Square Drum, Caretos | The Ancient Entrudo Tradition of Portugal and Biophilia and our Connection to the Other-than-Human Community.

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Hello there! My name is Ana Filipa Piedade and I am a portuguese hide tanner and ancestral skills student, practioner and teacher who finds a lot of joy in sharing about traditional living skills with others. I hope you enjoy this space!

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