Happy Portugal Day!
Whether you’re home or abroad, June 10th is to celebrate all Portuguese people and communities, language and our beloved Luís de Camões, Portugal’s most notorious poet!
To all the non-Portuguese folk wondering what is Portugal Day, also known as “Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities”, and what it means to us, Savvy Cat Realty tells you all about it!
Just an important note before we begin: don’t forget that it is a National Holiday in Portugal, so expect to have most businesses closed on this day. Learn the complete list of Natinal Holidays in Portugal *HERE* and other holidays *HERE*.
Let 's get into it!
June 10th marks the day of Luís de Camões death in 1580. Camões is one of our most renowned writers and is quite often placed on the same literary and cultural relevance level as Shakespeare and Homer, by many historians and literary critics.
Not much is known about his birth date or birthplace, so we celebrate his death date instead.
His most notable work is called “Os Lusíadas” (“The Lusiads”) and it's the most important Portuguese literary work of all time. There’s really no comparison to it in the English language.
Os Lusíadas is an epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements, setting back to the 15th-century Portuguese explorations, which brought fame and glory to the country.
For this reason, we choose to celebrate our great poet who proclaimed our beautiful language, culture and people.
PORTUGAL DAY, TODAY
On this day, the President of the Republic and many other State members participate in ceremonies commemorating Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities, with many activities such as parades and military demonstrations.
Picture source: Site Oficial da PRESIDÊNCIA DA REPÚBLICA PORTUGUESA
Nowadays, this holiday is celebrated both in Portugal and abroad, especially in the UK, Canada and the United States (from California to Massachusetts) – wherever there are large Portuguese communities.
PORTUGAL DAY IN OTHER COUNTRIES
In Badajoz and Olivença, Portugal Day is also celebrated with many ceremonies, activities and concerts that bring together thousands of people in the Iberian Peninsula (and many other places, of course). These particular regions have had great relations with Portugal for many centuries, mainly with the neighboring region of Alentejo.
As our fellow language-speaking brothers and sisters, of course Portugal Day is celebrated in most of all Brazil, but it’s mainly in Rio Janeiro and São Paulo where most festivities are held. Brazil was once the biggest and most important colony of Portugal, so Portuguese culture is very much ingrained in Brazilian culture. In 2017, the official commemorations of the Day of Portugal took place in Porto and in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
(Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe)
PALOP stands for “Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa”, which is the Portuguese-speaking African countries. Because we do not only celebrate Portugal as a country, we also celebrate the Portuguese Language.
The Portuguese presence in Africa was, much like in Brazil, under regrettable colonialist force. Portugal recognizes history’s unfortunate terrible practices. Nonetheless, the Portuguese presence has inevitably shaped these countries culture and speaking language of today and so this day is also widely celebrated in Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe with many state sponsored events taking place in their consulate and many schools.
In 2017, Canada declared June as Portuguese Heritage Month and June 10th as Portugal Day. Canada recognizes the contributions that the Portuguese-Canadian community have made to the country and the importance of the Portuguese heritage and culture.
In Toronto, over 200,000 Portuguese-Canadians celebrate this day with a week-long festival on Dundas Street, also known as “Little Portugal”.
In the UK, Portugal Day does not have a fixed day, although always celebrated in June. Festivities are usually held in Kennington Park, also known as “Little Portugal”.
In the United States, many cultures form the wonderful “Melting Pot” as the country is dearly known for. The Portuguese-American communities are proudly part of that and the number of Portuguese people living and working there is significant and so are the festivities surrounding this holiday.
Most known Portuguese-American neighborhoods include:
Neward in New Jersey: the Portugal Day Festival is held on the weekend closest to June 10th.
Mineola, New York: Portugal Day is celebrated annually by many clubs and organizations.
Providence, Rhode Island: Day of Portugal and Portuguese Heritage is celebrated annually.
San Jose, California: the Portuguese Heritage Society of California organizes Dia de Portugal California in the city's History Park, the location of the Portuguese Historical Museum.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: the holiday is celebrated at Penn’s Landing, where the Portuguese ship Gazela is docked.
New Bedford, Massachusetts: Portugal Day is celebrated for over two decades!
And that’s it! We hope you enjoy this national holiday with the many celebrations taking place all over the world and appreciate our heritage!
Hope this article was helpful, any questions you might have feel free to contact us! We are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance ;)