Celebrate Portugal Day – 10th June
Portugal Day – 10th June, is an annual national holiday and one of the most important dates of the year! Dia de Portugal honours the country’s customs, history and culture.
Although officially only observed in Portugal, Portuguese throughout the world will be celebrating!
Portugal Day is also known as Dia de Camões (Day of Camões) after Portugal’s national poet, Luís de Camões. The day pays homage to the life of the famous poet, who died on the 10th June 1580 – his birth date is unknown. Camões was an explorer and is best known for his epic poem ‘Os Lusíadas’, which was written during his travels.
The poem traces Portuguese history and especially the Age of Discovery and the foundation of the Portuguese Empire in India. Camões himself served in India and when he was shipwrecked off Vietnam, he reportedly saved the precious manuscript of ‘Os Lusíadas’ by holding it above water as he swam ashore.
The poem was first published in 1572 and captures the essence of this golden age for the Portuguese people and today 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 a good opportunity to remember their roots, get together and celebrate! There are street parties, fireworks and meeting friends whilst spending the day eating, singing, drinking and dancing.
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