Portugal Day in Portugal in 2020

  How long until Portugal Day?
This holiday next takes place in 293 days.
  Dates of Portugal Day in Portugal
2021 Portugal Thu, Jun 10National Holiday
2020 Portugal Wed, Jun 10National Holiday
2019 Portugal Mon, Jun 10National Holiday
2018 Portugal Sun, Jun 10National Holiday
2017 Portugal Sat, Jun 10National Holiday
  Summary
Commemorates the death of Luís de Camões on June 10th 1580
  Local name
Dia de Portugal

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

Signed in 1373, Portugal and England have the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world.

At its height, Portugal's colonial empire included what are now 53 different countries.

Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world with 240 million speakers and is the official language of nine countries.

More facts about Portugal Day

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