Portugal Day

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Portugal Day
(Portuguese: Dia de Portugal)
Monument to Luís de Camões in Lisbon, Portugal (May 2005)
Official nameDia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas
Observed byPortugal
TypeNational Day
Date10 June
Next time10 June 2023 (2023-06-10)
Related toLuís de Camões death

Portugal Day, officially Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities (Portuguese: Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas), is the National Day of Portugal celebrated annually on 10 June. It is one of the public holidays in Portugal and celebrated by Portuguese people throughout the world. It commemorates the death on 10 June 1580 of Luís de Camões, a poet and national literary icon.

Honoring Camões[edit]

Camões wrote Os Lusíadas (usually translated as The Lusiads), Portugal's national epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements. The poem focuses mainly on the 15th-century Portuguese explorations, which brought fame and fortune to the country. The poem, considered one of the finest and most important works in Portuguese literature, became a symbol for the great feats of the Portuguese Empire.

Camões was an adventurer who lost one eye fighting in Ceuta, wrote the poem while traveling, and survived a shipwreck in Cochinchina (a region of present-day Vietnam). According to popular folklore, Camões saved his epic poem by swimming with one arm while keeping the other arm above water. Since his date of birth is unknown, his date of death is celebrated as Portugal's National Day.

Although Camões became a symbol for Portugal nationalism, his death coincided with the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580 that eventually resulted in Philip II of Spain claiming the Portuguese throne. Portugal was then ruled by three generations of Spanish kings during the Iberian Union (1580–1640). On 1 December 1640, the country regained its independence once again by expelling the Spanish during the Portuguese Restoration War and making John of Bragança, King John IV of Portugal.

During the authoritarian Estado Novo regime in the 20th century, Camões was used as a symbol for the Portuguese nation. In 1944, at the dedication ceremony of the National Stadium in Oeiras (near Lisbon), Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar referred to 10 June as Dia da Raça (Day of the Portuguese Race). The notion of a Portuguese "race" served his nationalist purposes.[1]

Portugal Day celebrations were officially suspended during the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Celebrations resumed after 1974 and were expanded to include the Comunidades Portuguesas, Portuguese emigrants and their descendants living in communities all around the world.


In 2013 the official celebrations took place in the town of Elvas, the second time since 1997. One reason that Elvas had been chosen was that it had been classified in 2012 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is one of the most important cities in Portugal at the military level and the most fortified city in Europe.

In 2016 for the first time the official ceremonies were divided between the Portuguese capital of Lisbon and the French capital of Paris, by the initiative of president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa as a reminder that it is also the day of the Portuguese communities throughout the world.[2]

In other countries[edit]


On 8 November 2017, the House of Commons unanimously passed Davenport M.P. Julie Dzerowicz's Private Member's Bill M-126, declaring June as Portuguese Heritage Month and 10 June as Portugal Day in Canada. M-126 recognizes the contributions that Portuguese-Canadians have made to Canada and the importance of educating and reflecting upon Portuguese heritage and culture for future generations. This now opens these occasions to being recognized and celebrated at a national level instead of only by municipalities or provinces.[3]

In Toronto, Ontario, over 200,000 Portuguese-Canadians celebrate by holding a multitude of events surrounding 10 June date. The week-long festival culminates with the Portugal Day Parade on Dundas Street, in the area known as Little Portugal. The parade ends near Trinity Bellwoods Park, where concerts, cultural events and various other activities take place. The Portugal Day Parade is Toronto's third-largest street festival and first celebrated in 1966.[4]

United Kingdom[edit]

In 2010 and 2011, festivities were celebrated on 13 June and 12 June, respectively, in Kennington Park, southeast London, in the area known as Little Portugal.

The 2012 observance was held on 10 June in Kennington Park. The officials and athletes representing Portugal at the 2012 Summer Olympics were based in Little Portugal near Kennington Park, and attended Portugal Day 2012 in Kennington Park. [5] In 2013, the event was held on Sunday, 9 June 2013 in Kennington Park as in previous years.[6]

In 2014 the event was not held, but was held in 2015 on Sunday 14 June in Streatham Common Park and this was the first time that a fee was charged to enter.[7] The event in 2016 was also planned to be a paid event on Sunday 12 June in Streatham Common Park, but was cancelled due to heavy rain.[8]

United States[edit]

2022 Portugal day celebration in San Jose, California organized by Portuguese Historical Museum

Portuguese Americans celebrate the holiday throughout the country, especially in Portuguese American neighborhoods, including in:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [clarification needed] Costa, Ana Correia (9 June 2004). "Estado Novo: 10 de Junho é 'Dia da Raça'" (in Portuguese). JornalismoPortoNet. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  2. ^ "10 de junho: Comemorações pela primeira vez em "território espiritual" de Portugal". Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  3. ^ "PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 (42nd Parliament, 1st Session) - Private Members' Motions — M-126 Portuguese Heritage Month". Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Toronto's Portugal Day has a long history". 6 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  5. ^ Degun, Tom (27 April 2011). "Lambeth To Be Base for Portugal During London 2012". insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  6. ^ Dia de Portugal - Londres 2013. "Dia de Portugal Londres 2013". Dia de Portugal - Londres 2013 (via Facebook). Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  7. ^ Day of Portugal UK. "Day of Portugal UK". Day of Portugal UK (via Facebook). Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  8. ^ Day of Portugal UK. "Day of Portugal UK". Day of Portugal UK (via Facebook). Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  9. ^ Database (undated). "Festivals and Parades" Archived 5 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Government of Newark. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  10. ^ [dead link] "Eventos do Dia de Portugal"[permanent dead link]. Portuguese American Clubs of New Jersey.
  11. ^ "Nassau County Portugal Day 2013 - Events Event, Holiday, Arts & Enter…". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Martins Named Portuguese American of the Year - Around Town - Mineola…". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  13. ^ "County honors Martins on Portugal Day - the Island Now: Williston Park". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Nassau Portugal Day celebration today - Newsday". Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  15. ^ "PECO Multicultural Series at Penn's Landing". Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild". Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  17. ^ Da Silva, Lurdes (11 March 2021). "New Bedford cancels Day of Portugal celebration". The Herald News. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Festival". New Bedford Day of Portugal. New Bedford Day of Portugal. Retrieved 10 July 2021.

External links[edit]