The Soul of Lusitania
The symbol of Portugal recognized throughout the world, fado says such a lot about the Lusitanian soul that it has become a must for visitors really wanting to get to know the country. Varying from region to region, fado has its origin shrouded in mystery.
One explanation is that fado evolved from the sorrowful and melancholic songs of the Moors who lived on the outskirts of Lisbon after the Christian reconquest.
Another theory claims that it came to Portugal in the form of Lundum, music sung by Brazilian slaves and reproduced by sailors arriving from those areas.
A third hypothesis asserts it originated in the ballads of the Middle Ages (Songs of friendship, songs of love and songs of mockery and slander), characteristics of which the modern fado retains.
The typical themes of fado, a song resembling a lament which is both sad and beautiful, are love, the misfortunes of life, past times, death and longing. Traditionally, fado singers wear dark clothes and the women black shawls.
In Albufeira and Lagoa, the Town Hall organises an amateur fado competition every year for new talent.