Lisbon gets ready to party!
As summer closes in, Lisbon is filled every year with parties, music and colour. Tourists visiting the region may have asked themselves why, and we have the answer. The “Festas de Lisboa” are organised to celebrate the anniversary of Lisbon’s patron saint: San Antonio. Although San Antonio’s day really falls on the 12th of June, the Lisbon celebrations last all month long. Fancy a bit of fun during June? Pack your bags and head to Lisbon!
Street artists, cinema, music, theatre, exhibitions, sports try-outs, competitions, parades and processions… a real avalanche of events will flood the city during the Lisbon festival. The programme is always varied and includes everything from traditional events like Fado (archetypal Portuguese music) displays in the Castle of São Jorge to innovative cultural activities. You’ll find it very hard indeed to get bored, even for a second.
During the Lisbon festival, the streets of the old quarter and the different districts are decked up to the nines with balloons, garlands and Chinese lanterns. During the nights, ‘arrais’ are held – late-night street parties in which people get together to dance, sing Fados, share a glass of wine and eat typical food such as vegetable broth, barbequed chorizo sausage and grilled sardines.
The delicious scent of roasting fish is one of the constants of these celebrations, and the sardine is actually the official symbol of the Lisbon festival. In 2003, the company ‘Silva! Designers’ took over the job of producing the festival’s promotional posters, and used the sardine as its main graphic element. From then on, sardines have become more and more popular. Various designs by famous artists have been thrown in, and a Sardine Competition has also been created, in which everyone can send in their designs.
Although the Festas de Lisboa are celebrated all over the city, the districs of Alfama and Mouraria attract the biggest crowds and offer the greatest number of activities. If you fancy enjoying yourself in the streets of Lisbon, you know where to go…