Portugal Day

Portugal Day is the National Day of Portugal, observed annually on June 10th. The day commemorates the death of poet Luís de Camões, who died on June 10, 1580. This public holiday is celebrated not only by the people of Portugal but also by Portuguese communities around the world.

Officially known as Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas, this holiday is an ideal occasion to celebrate the history, culture, and customs of Portugal.

A Quick Biography of Luís Vaz de Camões

Although there is quite a bit of mythology surrounding Luís Vaz de Camões’ biography, there are several facts that we know about the man considered to be Portugal’s greatest poet. He was born around 1524 or 1525 somewhere in the Kingdom of Portugal and died on June 10, 1580 (O.S.) in Lisbon, Portugal. He is a poet known for writing a considerable amount of poetry during his lifetime but is most remembered for “Os Lusíadas.”

“Os Lusíadas” is considered one of the most important works in Portuguese literature and has been compared to the works of Shakespeare and Virgil. It is written in a style similar to how Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey and is a remarkable interpretation of the “Voyages of Discovery” made by Portuguese explorers during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was first published in 1572 in Portuguese and translated into English in 1776. It has since become an important symbol of the glory of Portugal.

The History of Portugal Day

Portugal Day has been observed annually for quite some time. In 1944, Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar declared June 10th as the Day of the Portuguese Races at the dedication of the National Stadium in Oeiras, Portugal. Although not the first time this holiday was observed or mentioned, it was one of the first times it was recognized in an official capacity.

In 1997, official celebrations took place in the town of Elvas. They were celebrated there again in 2013 after Elvas had been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012. In 2016, official ceremonies were split between the Portuguese capital of Lisbon and Paris, the capital of France.

This was initiated by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to emphasize that this is not just a holiday for Portugal but for all Portuguese people everywhere.

In the United States, celebrations of this holiday are held by Portuguese Americans across the country, particularly in Portuguese-American neighborhoods in Newark, Mineola, Providence, San Jose, Philadelphia, and New Bedford.

Observing Portugal Day

Portugal Day is a public holiday in Portugal and is observed by Portuguese people all over the world. It is a day for people to take pride in their heritage and is usually marked by special events not only in Portugal but in other countries as well.

Where is it celebrated?
Portugal (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 10 Monday
Next year (2025)
June 10 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
June 10 Saturday