Portugal Day – public holiday
Portugal’s national day is celebrated every year on 10 June, the date which marks the death of the country’s most patriotic writer, Luis de Camões.
This 16th century poet is most known for its epic poem, The Lusiads, which resembling much Homer’s Odyssey, tells the story of the Portuguese discoveries during the 15th and the 16th centuries.
During that time Portugal was at the peak of its power, as world’s first global colonial empire, controlling overseas territories in South America, Africa and across Asia.
See how the Portuguese empire was created, spreading between Brazil in South America and Japan in the eastern limits of Asia:
The Lusiads was first published in 1572 and its author died in 1580, becoming forever one of the country’s most beloved writers and a symbol of Portuguese nationalism.
Portugal Day, officially known as Day of Portugal, Camoes and the Portuguese Communities (Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas) is a public holiday in Portugal, celebrated with military parades, exhibitions, concerts, with a great participation of the country’s governance, central and local ones.
Every year the Portuguese president selects a city to host the main festivities of 10 of June. In 2016, for the first time, apart from a Portuguese city, in this case Lisbon, also an foreign location – Paris – was chosen to host official celebrations of the Portugal Day.
It is worth noting that Dia de Portugal is a festive occasion, although not as a public holiday, also outside of Portugal, amongst the Portuguese immigrant communities across the world.
Toronto in Canada and London in UK are homes to some of the largest Portuguese communities worldwide, both comprising areas known as ‘Little Portugal’.
See the Portugal Day parade in Toronto in 2016:
In United States there are several clusters of Portuguese immigration, amongst them Newark, New York, Providence and San Jose.