Lisbon's Popular Saints
Lisbon, Portugal
12 Jun - 13 Jun
The smell of sardines is felt in every street of the city, the decorations adorn the houses of each neighbourhood and the songs hummed by the funny revellers echo through every corner of the traditional Lisbon. Get surprised with the festivities of St. Anthony, where the people go out to the streets to celebrate with great excitement.

During the entire month of June, the program is extensive and includes small festivities, several music shows, sports events and also theatre. But it is on the night of June 12th that the party reaches its peak and everyone goes out to the streets. Around 150 thousand people are concentrated in Avenida da Liberdade to watch the popular marches, one of the oldest and most famous traditions of Lisbon, where several neighbourhoods compete for the winning title while demonstrating the passion for their neighbourhood. Popular songs, costumes and choreographies are prepared throughout the year and presented in an atmosphere of great joy. At the end of the marches the party continues in the streets of the different typical neighbourhoods, which throughout the night are filled with music, sardines, steak sandwiches and beer!

Don't forget the basil, symbol of the festivity, which includes a coloured carnation and a quatrain that will surely make you smile. On June 13th, the date on which the holy matchmaker died, a procession is held in the afternoon in his honour. By this time, all the girls who want to find their soul mate have a statue of the saint at home, turned upside down hoping that this will help them. In honour of the fame of this tradition, the City Council of Lisbon assumes the role of helping some couples with no conditions to pay the ceremony to get married, in a celebration known as "The Marriages of Saint Anthony".

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