Celebrate Portugal Day!
Published on 5th June, 2019 by Natalia Martins
Portugal loves a celebration – especially on 10th June – Portugal Day – one of the most important dates of the year! The annual national holiday called Dia de Portugal honours the country’s customs, history and culture.
Although officially observed only in Portugal, Portuguese throughout the world celebrate this holiday.
Portugal Day is also known as Dia de Camões (Day of Camões) after Portugal’s national poet, Luís de Camões. The national day pays homage to the life of the famous poet, who died on the 10th June 1580 – his date of birth is unknown. Camões was an explorer and is best known for his poem ‘Os Lusíadas’, which was written on his travels. He saved it from being destroyed when he was shipwrecked and he is regarded as a national hero.
The Os Lusíadas poem is one of the most important works in Portuguese literature. It depicts the achievements of Portugal in the explorations of the world during the 16th century when the country played an important role in the discovery of the New World. The poem by Camões captures the essence of this golden age for the Portuguese and it remains one of the best and most relevant works of Portuguese literature.
10th June is also celebrated as Portugal’s national day since the country gained independence from Spain in 1640.
The Portuguese consider this day as a good opportunity to remember their roots, get together and celebrate! There are lots of street parties, meeting friends and spending the day eating, singing, drinking and dancing. There are military parades, orchestras and fireworks that are part of the traditional activities of Dia de Camões – Portugal Day.