Lisbon in June: biggest party of the year, Santo António, the Saint of true love: romantic poems, push ups, sardines & party time in Mouraria June 12

The month of June is party time in Lisbon! One of Portugal’s most popular saints, Santo António (Saint Anthony of Padua), was a Fransiscan friar canised by the Catholic Church in record time, one year after his death (on June 13, 1232). Many miracles have been attributed to him and he is considered a protector of the souls of purgatory, guardian of good marriages, defender of animals, healer, and advocate of lost objects. On the eve of June 13th Lisbon (and in all of Portugal) turns into one big party, the craziest night of the year!

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 romantic manjerica2

Mouraria, June 12, 2009

Santo Antonio is also the matchmaker saint. A charming custom on the eve of June 12 is for young men to present a newly sproutet basil (manjerico), for a newly sprouted love) to the girls they hope to wed. A frilled and fluted tinsel-trimmed paper carnation of various colors blooms in each pot. Within the petals is a poem or message which indicates the young man’s passion. Often the flower is accompanied by a painted toy, a pretty fan, or some other trifle calculated to appeal to a maiden’s fancy.

Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo do Terreirinho dancing1

Largo do Terreirinho  Mouraria Lisbon

On the Eve of June 13 young girls try various methods of finding out whom they will wed. One favorite way is for a girl to fill her mouth with water and hold it until she hears a boy’s name mentioned. The name she hears is sure to be that of her future husband!

Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo do Terreirinho sardines 6

Largo do Terreirinho  Mouraria Lisbon

In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are filled with lively festivities, parades and live music that take over the city’s historical center. The main Saints’ days are for Anthony (Antonio June 12-13), John (June 23-24) and Peter (June 28-29). Parades, feast, sardines, wine & live Fado music (2)

Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo do Terreirinho live music

Largo do Terreirinho Mouraria Lisbon

Live music, dancing and plenty of food and drinks like gaseous lemonade, wine, beer or sangria.

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo do Terreirinho sardines9

Largo do Terreirinho Mouraria Lisbon

Traditionally millions of big and tasty sardines (sardinhas), accompanied by traditional bread, are grilled in the month of June in Portugal, high season for this delicious silvery fish. They were already eaten in the XV Century and grilled outdoors, due to the strong aroma that they free when roasting.

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo do Terreirinho students3

Largo do Terreirinho Mouraria Lisbon

Party time, also for students! Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisbon

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo macho students

Largo do Terreirinho Mouraria Lisbon

The streets are filled with the delicious smell (and the smoke!) of sardines being grilled. After a couple of beers some students show the girls that boys are created with very strong muscles…..whow! 25 push ups!

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo do Terreirinho bar restaurant Anos 60 1

Largo do Terreirinho Mouraria Lisbon Restaurant ‘Anos 60′ (the sixties)

Unique bar and restaurant  ‘Anos 60′ has been established in the nineties in this neighborhood  More…….

Santo Antonio church Largo Santo Antonio a Sé Alfama.

Santo António was born in 1195 in Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood Alfama, where the small church of Santo António da Sé now stands. Young people write letters asking him to furnish sweethearts. These epistles are dropped into a box in the church. When love affairs prosper and suitable mates are found, the box receives thank offerings from the grateful lovers. Mass marriages known as “St. Anthony’s Weddings” are held during the mid-June St. Anthony’s Day celebrations.

More information  ‘Festas de Lisboa’ (visit Lisboa 2014)

Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 5 tram sardines

Largo do Terreirinho Mouraria Lisbon

In June you can enjoy musicians singing fado music in the old trams, some are decorated with sardines…

Thanks to Dorothy Gladys Spicer

3 Responses to “Lisbon in June: biggest party of the year, Santo António, the Saint of true love: romantic poems, push ups, sardines & party time in Mouraria June 12”

  1. […] In the month of June, festivities take place all over Portugal to celebrate the three Saints – Santo António, São João and São Pedro. The traditional neighborhoods Mouraria and Alfama are decorated in many colours and all the people are dancing in the streets and having barbeques, mostly sardinhas (sardines). […]

  2. […] More…. […]

  3. […] the historical center are decorated with garlands and lights: parades, sardines and party time! (Festas de Lisboa in […]

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