The festivities return in force this year after pandemic restrictions and the streets of cities of Porto and Braga, are expected to be filled with revellers.

“There was a small drop in sales in previous years, but this is no longer noticeable, mainly because companies have returned to look for this item to offer their employees and customers”, explained Joaquim Araújo, the largest producer of basil in the North of the country.

Araújo, who plans to sell more than 40,000 pots of this traditional plant, said that “more than half of the production is for the North and Centre of the country”, but also noted “an increase in demand from the South”.

“It is gratifying to see that the plants I produce will once again brighten up the summer parties after the sad years of the pandemic. I feel very good about being able, with my small contribution, to give people that happiness”, he said.

Fewer hammers

While the market for basil is buoyant, there has not been as much demand for the traditional hammers.

“For now, we have no significant requests and, therefore, our production of the hammers is low. We will wait until the beginning of June, which is when orders usually start to come in”, Rita Oliveira, responsible for the Moldra plastics factory told Lusa.

The businesswoman recalls that “compared to four years ago, orders are four times less”, but she hopes that the situation will still change.

“I notice that there is a retraction. The pandemic forced people to rethink spending, but I believe that people also need to cheer up with these festive moments. It would be nice to see our hammers on the streets again”, added Rita Oliveira.