Popular Saints’ Festivals, Saint Anthony

Popular Saints’ Festivals are all June around the country. In Lisbon will happen in the 12th and 13th of June, and the Festival is about Saint Anthony, or Santo António in portuguese.

This is a very typical festival and begins in the evening and there is no time to end. Saint Anthony is patron of the city and is very common so see in this days many but really many marriages.

Saint Anthony also is honorable with parade in the streets, processions in his homage, many streets are decorated with colorful globes and also garlands, a lots of popular music but also FADO and JAZZ.

From the castle to Mouraria, Bairro Alto, Alfama, where are the oldest neighborhoods, you can come in at any time and just enjoy the event. There is no registration or invitation, in this days everyone is welcome.

The Saint Anthony festival is also a celebration of the entrance of the summer, and therefor everyone is roasting sardines, so is very common to smell in the streets the roasted sardines and also the sweet basil. The paper carnations and also the paintings are all about Saint Anthony.

Popular marches of Saint Anthony are a big competition between the oldest neighborhoods and they have more then 80 years of existence. The themes are diverse and they are about Portugal and his history. Each group has his unique team and all the clothes, decoration, music, choreograph, singer, godmother and godfather are selected by the representatives of the group. This is a very big event and its been prepared 3 months before.

This is a very religious event but the Portuguese are also very religious and therefore everyone is outside celebrating. Also this events are extended to the summer.

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