PORTUGAL. Portugal and Lisbon’s public holidays São João and Santo António in June are very famous. Streets are filled with people celebrating these saints with beer, good weather, sardines, “bifanas” (tasty pork pieces in bread with mustard or butter sauce), small stalls from people of the neighborhood, fireworks and concerts.
There’s only one thing you need to remember: June 13 in Lisbon and June 24 in Porto. Prepare to walk a lot up and down these beautiful cities because the tradition is to walk around the streets while you drink, eat, and meet friends on the way until you find a good place to watch the fireworks.
In Lisbon, the celebration starts on the night of June 12. Don’t miss the marches of the people who parade through the streets to the sounds of popular music wearing impressive and colorful clothes. Rossio square, Alfama and Sé are great places to live the party like a local, to drink wine, beer, eat the famous sardines with bread and green pepper, or try some grilled meat at a restaurant or a local stall. People party in a simple but crazy way. We like to gather on the street, talk, eat, drink and enjoy the atmosphere. How will the night end? No one knows!
In Porto, the party also starts on the night of June 24. Although it is smaller than Lisbon, the city gets crowded and crazy quickly. Everyone talks with everyone, so don’t be afraid to just enjoy! Held in the city for more than six centuries, the tradition — similar to Lisbon’s — brings street concerts, popular dancing parties, flame jumping, eating barbecued sardines and meat, drinking wine and releasing illuminated flame-propelled balloons over Porto’s summer sky. Because it’s smaller, you can walk to sides of the city — Ribeira and Gaia — and use the bridges by foot or car. If someone hits you with a plastic hammer with a funny noise, don’t worry! It’s part of the tradition, so feel free to do the same!