Portugal Day around the world in 2024

  How long until Portugal Day?
Portugal Day
  Dates of Portugal Day around the world
2025 PortugalJun 10
Portugal Tue, Jun 10National Holiday
2024 PortugalJun 10
Portugal Mon, Jun 10National Holiday
2023 PortugalJun 10
Portugal Sat, Jun 10National Holiday
2022 PortugalJun 10
Portugal Fri, Jun 10National Holiday
2021 PortugalJun 10
Portugal Thu, Jun 10National Holiday

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.

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.

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.

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.

In Canada, the month of June is celebrated as “Portuguese Heritage Month” to honor the heritage of half a million Luso-Canadians with many events showcasing the Portuguese rich history, language, and culture.

Did you know?

Three facts about Portugal Day

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.

Portugal produces more than half of the world's cork.

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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