The 10th June was chosen because it marks the date of death of the poet Luís de Camões, a writer who marked the history of Portugal, and is one of the most important writer from our country. He is the author of "Os Lusíadas", the most famous book in Portuguese literature, which tells of the conquests of the Lusitanian people such as Vasco da Gama's arrival in India.
Portugal Day began to be celebrated in 1880, decreed by King Luís I, who announced a national festival in honour of the 300th anniversary of the death of Luís de Camões.
Since then, this day has been celebrated every year, but it became a public holiday after the implantation of the Republic on 5 October 1910. After the Estado Novo, it began to have real importance when António Oliveira Salazar, decreed this day a bank holiday as "Day of the Race: the Portuguese race or the Portuguese". As the poet was an emblematic figure, associated with Portugal's discoveries in the rest of the world, this date was used to celebrate belonging to the colonial territories and having the same race and language spread across the world.
From 1978, this day adopted the name we know today, "Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities", as a tribute to all those who share the same language, the same origins, in the four corners of the world.
Since its creation, this day is celebrated all over the country, with a series of cultural activities and festivities. Many cities organise parades, concerts, date festivals, food and drink and other events to celebrate this day that is so important for the country. After all it is a moment of love for the nation, and pride of our country.
The celebration begins with the raising of the flag, a symbolic moment of national pride, followed by the singing of the Portuguese national anthem "A Portuguesa". After these two moments, there is an official ceremony led by the President of the Republic, which includes a tribute to the national heroes and the Portuguese personalities who stood out in the previous year. In addition, we can still watch military parades, aerial acrobatics and boat parades.
Every year, the festivities of Portugal Day, change cities, so that everyone has the opportunity to attend this great celebration. This year, the city of Peso da Régua, opens its doors so that we can all celebrate this special day. This is also an opportunity for local communities to develop tourism, bringing to the streets not only their inhabitants but also tourists to celebrate together the rich and diverse history of our country.
In short, the 10th of June is a special date for the Portuguese, as it symbolises the celebration of the nation, our cultural heritage and the Portuguese community spread around the world. It is a day of union, pride and renewal of the bonds that unite the Portuguese, both within and outside the country.
Author: Cláudia Ferreira
Cláudia Ferreira, who holds a degree in Communication Sciences from Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, is currently serving as the assistant director and commercial representative at Casaiberia.