Thursday June 13th 2019 | Porto

The Santo António (Anthony of Padua) Festival in Portugal

A celebration along the country

The Santo António (Anthony of Padua) Festival in Portugal

Portugal is a country full of religious celebrations and, among them, the one dedicated to Saint Anthony stands out in its capital.

This is the patron Saint of Lisbon, whose festival is commemorated on June 13. However, the highest moment is reached on the night of June 12, with the parade through the Avenida da Liberdade, when the different neighbourhoods of the city compete to win the best march. From this moment, the festivities are considered inaugurated. Throughout the Portuguese capital you will be able to find a party and fado or jazz mixed with cinema, theatre, and exhibitions. All this accompanied by garlands and coloured balloons that decorate all the streets. And, of course, the aroma that barbecues leave around the city where you will taste sardines, pork, peppers, and chorizo while you drink the traditional caldo verde.

It’s the afternoon of June 13 when the religious character of the celebration begins: the procession that goes through the streets that surround the cathedral. Although, perhaps the most special moment of the program of festivities is that of the Brides of San Antonio. This saint is known as a matchmaker, so, in the city where he was born, he is honoured this way: several couples marry in the cathedral, also passing through the Church of Santo António.

Lisbon and Padua, city where Santo António died, are vying to be the most devoted city to the saint, but it’s clear that Lisbon knows how to venerate him. Almost a month of celebrations in honour of its patron saint demonstrate this.

June is the month of the religious festivals in Portugal, because Porto also celebrates its big day: Festa de São João do Porto (Festival of St John of Porto).

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Tags: fun , Porto , tourism