Manjericos Tradition – love in the festival of popular saints
Known as “Valentine´s herb” the Manjerico is a popular plant of Saint John´s parties in Oporto, and Saint Anthony, in Lisbon. According to the manjericos tradition, during the celebrations of the Saints, in June, the boyfriend offers to his girlfriend one Manjerico, a little potted plants of newly sprouted Basil. In addition to the plant, the vessel also carries a paper-mache flowers and a small flag with a popular verse allusive to love. Offer a Manjerico, it’s almost like a vow.
The manjericos tradition says that one should not smell the plant directly, as this makes it dry faster. Therefore, the correct way to feel their fragrance is move your hand gently on the plant and then smell your hand.
The Manjerico is an aromatic plant, and requires much care. The girls who receive it must take care of them for a year, until the following year celebration, when it should be replaced.