Statue of Luis Vaz de Camões in Lisbon square
When is Portugal Day?
How long until Portugal Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 17 Days.|
Dates of Portugal Day
|Dia de Camões, de Portugal e das Comunidades Portuguesas|
|commemorates the death of Luís de Camões on June 10, 1580|
Portugal Day, officially known as Dia de Camões, de Portugal e das Comunidades Portuguesas ('Day of Camões, Portugal, and the Portuguese Communities'), commemorates the death of Luís de Camões on June 10, 1580.
This public holiday is Portugal's National Day.
History of Portugal Day
Camões wrote the Lusiads, Portugal's national epic celebrating the country's history and achievements. While it is only officially celebrated in Portugal, Portuguese descendents across the world may also celebrate the holiday.
The Lusiads focuses on the Portuguese explorations in the 16th century, which greatly expanded the influence of Portugal. The poem is considered to be the most important piece of Portuguese literature, and has became a symbol for the glory of the Portuguese nation.
Camões was a colourful character. He lost one eye fighting and was shipwrecked off the coast of present-day Vietnam. According to legend, during the shipwrecking, he kept his epic poem dry by swimming with one arm and keeping the other arm above water.
In the year that Camões died, Portugal lost its independence to Spain and began a period of rule by three generations of Spanish kings. It was over 60 years before the country regained its independence.
For such national days, it is common practice to use a date of birth to mark the national day, but since Camões' date of birth was not known, the date of his death is celebrated instead.
During the rule of the Portuguese authoritarian regime up to 1974, Camões was used as a symbol for the Portuguese 'race' by the nationalists. Because of that, the June 10 celebrations were officially suspended during the Carnation Revolution in 1974, resuming as a more inclusive celebration including commemorating Portuguese communities around the world.
In the USA, there are sizeable Portuguese American communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, California, and Hawaii.
Did you know?
Signed in 1373, Portugal and England have the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world.
Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world with 240 million speakers and is the official language of nine countries.
The longest bridge in Europe is in Portugal – the six-lane, cable-stayed Vasco de Gama bridge crossing the Tagus River to the north of Lisbon is over 10 miles long.
Portugal has had the same defined borders since 1139, making it the oldest nation-state in Europe. Afonso Henriques was proclaimed the first King of Portugal in 1139 and the country remained a kingdom for almost 800 years thereafter, until 1910.
Chili, pepper, potatoes and tomatoes were introduced by the Portuguese to India. Piri-piri sauce was also invented by the Portuguese.