Lisbon’s craziest night June 12: true love, basil & street parties

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). 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

Hair saloon Salão S. Tomé e Principe Unissexo in historical area Mouraria Lisbon & Antonia

Mouraria, one of the oldest, historical areas in Lisbon, is an intriguing earthy place. Nowadays it’s a melting pot: there are the people with their origin from the once Portuguese colonies, especially from Angola, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe Islands, but also from other African countries; the Indian and the Chinese, the biggest representatives of Asia. There’s lots of small shops: typical Portuguese, Indian and a lot of Chinese.

Antonia in front of the saloon Salão S. Tomé e Principe Unissexo Centro Comercial Mouraria Lisbon

Antonia is my favorite hairstylist in Lisbon and she always makes me very happy 😉

Antonia hairdresser Salão S. Tomé e Principe Unissexo Centro Comercial Mouraria Lisbon

In the Mouraria shopping centre, you’ll find African hairdressers, Indian and Chinese food stores and all manner of Brazilian kitsch and knock-off gold in between.

Salão S. Tomé e Principe Unissexo

Antonia worked in Tomé Costa’s AfroLuso hair saloon, now it does not exist anymore. Happily for me Antonia works nearby in the neighbourhood in a saloon called Salão S. Tomé e Principe Unissexo

Tomé Costa 2 years ago:” We started a hair saloon in 1998 in a very small place. About 2 years  ago we opened our new saloon. Among our clients are tourists, but also lots of people who live in this neighborhood. We are very appy with this place”. ‘”Our parents moved to Portugal, we are born here, coming from the São Tomé and Príncipe Islands , a former Portuguese colony located near the northwestern coast of Gabon”. (The islands achieved independence in 1975).”

Tomé Costa African hairdresser Mouraria14

Ladies, gentlemen and children haircuts (from 5-8,50 euro), colouring (from 15 euro), manicure, pedicure and make-up (Kerli products) ; or maybe you prefer an old-fashioned barbershop-shave? (3,50)

Tomé Costa Afro hairdresser Calcada do Mouraria Lisbon5

The atmosphere in the saloon is very warm and welcoming, the staff is super friendly. While waiting for clients these two nice hairsylists enjoy the music….

Tomé Costa Afro Luso hairdresser Calcada da Mouraria Lisbon 9

Ankls Leima Sacramento Neto

The saloon is open from Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 19:00, Sundays and Holidays from 10:00 – 17:00.

Phone number Antonia: 00351 964845367

Antonia extentions

Hair extensions, fuzzy hair or braids? Antonia prefers extensions..

Tomé Costa Afro hairdresser Calcada da Mouraria Lisbon6


Bar ‘ANOS 60’ in area Mouraria Lisbon: the sixties & owner Fernando Casanova

UPDATE November 2016: bar ‘ANOS 60’ is closed

Mouraria Lisbon ANOS 60 July 2014 trendy bar

Young people from the US visiting Lisbon, bar ANOS 60 historic area Mouraria Lisbon, July 2014

History BAR ANOS 60 Mouraria (written in 2008)

This unique bar and top-class restaurant has been established in the nineties in the  historic Mouraria neighbourhood and is located at Largo do Terreirinho. It is also one of the best places to talk politics (also in English) and to listen to live music (Fado/Brasilian a.o.). The owner, senhor Fernando Casanova, chose the area of Mouraria because of the historic nature of the neighborhood.

Anos 60 Bar in Mouraria live music

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Politicians, journalists and many local celebrities meet up in ‘Anos 60’ to discuss politics, dine and enjoy the live Brazilian and Portuguese music. Mariza, the internationally well-known fado singer started her career in Mouraria where she grew up and performed many times in ‘ANOS 60’.

Lisbon Bar Anos 60 Mouraria Che Guevara

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Che Guevara . ‘Anos 60′ means ‘the sixties’. The name was chosen because of the rough political times in the sixties in Portugal, when the Portuguese people suffered under the corrupt dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, president of the Council of Ministers of Portugal for 36 years, from 1932 to 1968, and founder of the Estado Novo (New Regime).

On April 25, 1974, the Estado Novo finally fell with the Carnation Revolution.

Lisbon Mouraria Bar Anos 60 live music

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

ANOS 60 owner Fernando Casanova was, as a journalist, part of the intellectual opposition and in his bar still many discussion about the era of the revolution take place. Fernando contributed for 2 years to the political newspaper “Aqui” which was published during the period of the revolution. The Club de Jornalistas’ in Lapa, which now has 700 members, has a strong connection to the bar.

Anos 60-Fernando-Casanova-Lisbon-Mouraria

Fernando Casanova , owner of bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

The clock in ‘ANOS 60’ stands still at 04:10. Stories go round that this was the time that the Carnation Revolution started… But according to Fernando, it has another reason. It has to do with the official closing time: 04:00. In the weekends the bar usually closes later. After dancing the night away you walk out onto the street at 07:00, but the clock still indicates 04:10!

Anos 60-Lisbon-Mouraria-clock

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Street parties in June

In the month of June, festivities take place all over Portugal to celebrate three popular 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, grilling sardinhas (sardines).

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo bar Anos 60 2

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon in June: dinner outside

Bar ANOS 60 (closed in 2016)
Largo do Terreirinho 21, 1170 Lisbon.

More about  area Mouraria Lisbon (2020)