Photo by EGEAC
Lisbon's vibrant and joyful "Festas da Cidade" happen in JuneJune is the month for Lisbon, Portugal, to celebrate the day of its patron saint: St Anthony. The historic neighborhoods of the city, like Alfama, Bica, Mouraria or Bairro Alto vibrate with parades, parties, dancing and eating sardines with red wine.
Also known as Santos Populares, or Festas de Lisboa, the fun will take place on the nights of June 12 to 13.
In the Avenida da Liberdade, the Marchas Populares parade includes groups from historic neighborhood associations marching down the Avenue in festive costumes. They compete by marching and singing their own lyrics. The Marchas Populares end with the selection of the best neighborhood from Lisbon of the year.
Also in honor of the Patron Saint, every year there are the Casamentos de Santo Antonio, a collective wedding of couples born and raised in Lisbon that is offered by the city and "blessed" by Saint Anthony.
St Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1195 an is also known as St Anthony of Padua, the Italian city where he died. So, June 13th is Lisbon’s holiday in honor of the Saint, so that after all the celebrations from the previous night people can rest and attend the religious procession that takes place in the narrow streets of the old town neighborhoods.