to the Festas
Populares - a full month of popular parties celebrating
the people's saints.
these people's saints?
In the Festas Santos Populares, the celebrated people's saints are António,
Pedro and João.
is one of the Lisbon's
He's also the patron of all lovers and known as "Santo António
According with the people's believe, this Saint helps the ones who seek
a mate to get marry.
this period is frequent to see candles (begging for his intercession)
around the Saint Statue placed in front of the Church with his name
We celebrate the Santo
day on the 13th of June
- the city's official holiday.
day before (12), Lisbon watches the Marriages (Casamentos) of
In this day 13 couples
get married with all the expenses being paid by
the city council (Câmara
Lucky one's, don't you think?
On the same day, but during the night, happens one of the highest points of the
It's the Desfile
das Marchas Populares, a colourful parade that inch down
the Avenida da
Each city old neighbourhood (Bairro)
has a group representing that bairro
competing for the best presentation.
They come dressed in
theme costumes and sing
a song during the presentation.
Often the songs talk about the bairro
history, old traditions, the sea, the fishermen and the famous people
Some ten days earlier
(more or less), the bairros
have their presentation
in the Pavilhão
is an opportunity for the judges to evaluate their performances more
You see, when the parade is in the Avenue, the streets are
This presentation is open to the general public as well. If you really
like these Marchas
Populares, you should attend.
receives fame and glory! And, believe me, this
competition is a very big issue between the bairros because of
the intense rivalry
that you can easily sense and witness.
I took some pictures
to give you a glimpse of the action. But, it's definitely better to see
it live in the Avenue.
After the Marchas, Lisbon people (lisboetas)
hold on an arraial
in each bairro.
is a street party, where you can eat sardines (sardinhas) and
The most popular arraiais are in Alfama, Mouraria, Madragoa,
Castelo and Sé.
In the following day (13), there's a procession from the
Igreja de Santo António (Saint António's Church) to the Sé (Cathedral).
After the procession more candles are placed around his statue.
Pot for you
tradition in the Festas Santos Populares to offer a
small Basil Pot to the one you love during this
Each one as a little paper attached with a corny poem.
And you can find them everywhere!
the other Saints?
João is celebrated more enthusiastically in Oporto.
On this Saint Day's eve (23 June) a huge street rave-up is held in
It's a tradition to buy giant
plastic hammers and use them to hit everybody's head. So,
don't be surprised to be attacked by complete strangers.
Also, bunches of garlic
can equally be shoved right under you nose!
day is in the 29th of June. Although there's no special party in his
honour, he is equally considered a people's saint.
Check out more photos
the pictures to enlarge.)
Don't forget to see the Arraiais
Populares, an important part of the Festas Santos Populares!
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