The legend of the Easter “Folar” is so old, that its original date is unknown…
Once upon a time, in a remote Portuguese village, lived a young woman, named Mariana, who wanted to get married at an early age.
She prayed many times to her devout Saint Catherine, and soon two admirers showed up: A rich nobleman and a poor farmer, both young and handsome. Since she was debating between those two, she decided to ask, once again, for Saint Catherine’s guidance.While in prayer, Amaro, the poor farmer, knocked on Mariana’s door and asked her for her decision, by Palm Sunday. Minutes later, the nobleman also showed up, with the same request. Mariana, who was already confused, became completely lost, without knowing what to do.
In the Palm Sunday, a neighbor warned Mariana that she had seen both the nobleman and the farmer, fighting. Mariana ran to the place where the two were contending, and, after seeking for Saint Catherine’s intervention, pronounced Amaro’s name and chose the poor farmer as her spouse.
When finally Holy Saturday arrived, Mariana was extremely worried, fearing that the nobleman would show up on the wedding day, to kill Amaro. One more time, Mariana prayed to Saint Catherine and, this time, the Saint’s image smiled back.
The day after, Mariana was putting flowers on the Saint’s altar, and as soon as she got home, she found, on a table, a large cake with whole eggs, surrounded by flowers, the same she had put on the altar. She ran to Amaro’s house, realizing that he had also received a similar cake. Thinking that it was the nobleman’s idea, she went to his house to thank him. Curiously, the nobleman had also received the same kind of cake. Mariana was then convinced that it had been Saint Catherine’s doing!
Originally called “folore”, the cake became known, in time, as “folar”, and turned into a symbol that celebrates friendship and reconciliation. During Palm Sunday, it is customary the godchildren to present their godmothers with a bouquet of flowers, and, in return, on Easter Sunday, they offer them the “folar”.