In Portugal, June is the month of the Popular Saints with festivities all over the country on the nights of St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter. The main ones are the Festivities of Lisbon, from 12 to 13 of June, St. Anthony Day, and those of Porto, on the night of 23 to 24 June, when St. John is celebrated.
During these nights people come outside to eat grilled sardines, drink, and have fun in the streets of the popular neighbourhoods, adorned with arches, colourful balloons and scents of basil.
In Lisbon each “Bairro” do a parade in Avenida da Liberdade, filling the road with music, colour and a lot of people. Alfama, Graça, Bica, Mouraria and Madragoa are famous with sings and dances throughout the night. Another high point of these festivities is the procession of St. Anthony, who on the 13th of June leaves his church, located in Alfama, near the Cathedral, in the place where this saint was born, around 1193.
In Porto, the party is identical in color and joy along the most traditional neighbourhoods, such as Miragaia, Fontainhas, Ribeira, Massarelos and others.
But Porto has other traditions: if in the past the revellers beated with leek on the heads of the companions, today they use plastic hammers with the same purpose!
And in addition to the amazing firework that is launched at midnight on the Douro River, colorful balloons of warm air are also launched in one of the most beautiful celebrations of these popular festivities. The night ends by the beach, to watch the sun rise or for a morning bath, as tradition says.
On June 29, St. Peter is also celebrated, with popular festivities in various localities such as Sintra or Évora, both on the World Heritage list.
Some of these feasts, of pagan origin are associated with the celebration of the summer solstice, featured by dancing, eating and fireworks, all good excuses to take a hop to visit Portugal and discover these traditions so colorful and lively!
And Bike my Side Lisbon custom rides are excelent for this purpose!
More information with Bike my Side Lisbon tours