Portugal Day around the world in 2020

  How long until Portugal Day?
This holiday next takes place in 356 days.
  Dates of Portugal Day around the world
2021PortugalJun 10
Portugal Thu, Jun 10National Holiday
2020PortugalJun 10
Portugal Wed, Jun 10National Holiday
2019PortugalJun 10
Portugal Mon, Jun 10National Holiday
2018PortugalJun 10
Portugal Sun, Jun 10National Holiday
2017PortugalJun 10
Portugal Sat, Jun 10National Holiday
  Summary
Commemorates the death of Luís de Camões on June 10th 1580

When is Portugal Day?

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 10th 1580. It 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 descendants 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 become 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.

There are official celebrations involving the President, Prime Minister and other high ranking people. Awards/Honors are given out and there is a military exhibition.

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 10th celebrations were officially suspended during the Carnation Revolution in 1974, resuming as a more inclusive celebration including commemorating Portuguese communities around the world.

There are official celebrations with the President, Prime Minister and other high ranking people. 

Recently it has become a custom to split Portugal Day celebrations between a city within Portugal and a foreign city with a significant Portuguese presence (Rio de Janeiro or Paris, for example).

In the USA, there are sizeable Portuguese American communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, California, and Hawaii.

Did you know?

Three facts about Portugal Day

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.

Chili, pepper, potatoes and tomatoes were introduced by the Portuguese to India. Piri-piri sauce was also invented by the Portuguese.

More facts about Portugal Day

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