Restoration Of Independence in Portugal

Restoration of Independence is a holiday observed on December 1st every year in Portugal. This holiday commemorates the reinstatement of sovereignty after Spanish rule—a period that lasted from 1580 until the Portuguese Restoration War in 1640.

On December 1, 1640, the Portuguese monarchy was restored, and the House of Braganza was founded. It has been celebrated as a holiday ever since. Because this day is a public holiday, the general population has the day off, and most schools and businesses are closed for the day.

The History of Restoration of Independence

In 1587, following the death of King D. Sebastião at the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in North Africa, Portugal suffered from a power vacuum. This vacuum was taken advantage of by Philip II—the King of Spain—who also happened to be the grandson of D. Manuel I of Portugal. He ascended to the throne.

Not long after ascending to the throne, Portugal became involved in a war with England and lost a significant portion of its empire, as well as part of its naval fleet. This resulted in the nobility of Portugal taking action and starting a revolution. On December 1, 1640, the monarchy of Portugal was restored, and a new ruling dynasty was formed.

Fun Facts About Portugal

Everything that we have learned about Portugal can be found below. Let’s take a quick look at them.

  • Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe.
  • The oldest bookstore in the world is located in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • The University of Coimbra, established in 1290, is the oldest university in the world.

Observing Restoration of Independence

Since this day is a bank holiday, many schools, banks, and businesses are closed. On this day, there are usually parades and other celebrations, and the Portuguese flag is often prominently displayed. It is a day for the citizens of Portugal to celebrate their independence, and they do so by spending time with friends and family members.

Where is it celebrated?
Portugal (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 1 Sunday
Next year (2025)
December 1 Monday
Last year (2023)
December 1 Friday