Lots of meaning and history
Thank you for writing about this - I hadn't really considered before what Portugal's traditions regarding ancestors and the dead might be, let alone what to expect of their cemeteries. My father's mother always had a special place in her heart for cemeteries and my mother adopted that and passed it along to us. We often strolled through, spoke to the inhabitants (or, at least, their places of rest), placed flowers or stones on graves or markers, and even had picnics in the cemeteries of various cities we lived in throughout my life. As an adult, I often took my lunch breaks in local cemeteries and graveyards as I've always found them to be beautiful, peaceful parks of remembrance and I liked to think of myself as spending time with those that might not have visitors of their own. Now living in Mexico, mom has been delighted at how much more common that sort of practice is amongst her friends and neighbors. I'm delighted to realize that I might be able to carry on that tradition in Portugal.