@ Cynthia Adina Kirkwood
A “So Portuguese” Comforting Almanac
Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Borda D’Agua, a Portuguese almanac, is old and venerable, fine and satisfying.
Through the years, so strong is its presence that it draws up deep memories for Guta Moura Guedes, the design columnist at the Expresso (August 28):
“It has been many years since I bought Borda D’Agua and, now, as I leaf through it at the end of August, I remember the impact it had on me when I was little. Living in an agricultural region, it was almost an annual ritual to buy and read this almanac – the real one!, as we read on the cover.
“The source of information was precious to many people, covering an immense variety of uses. And it ended up having an extra advantage. It brought us to earth and made us look ahead to the coming year and plan. At least that was how, in the last days of August, when we bought it, we faced reading, as a family, this virtuous object of communication, so Portuguese.”
The almanac offers forecasts for the upcoming year. Practical advice is based on popular wisdom, science and astrology, weather forecasts, outlooks for agriculture (such as when to plant), moon phases and the sea, and ephemerides.
“Our Borda D’Agua remains unchanged. The graphic design has been the same since 1929, as is the editorial design! Being one of the oldest publications in Portugal, it has been published annually since that date by Editorial Minerva and continues to be printed in a traditional typography. And it is a bestseller.
“Twenty-four perfect pages. With the whole world changing, it’s good to know that some things remain the same.”