Lisbon celebrates its popular saints in June

festas de Lisbonne

                            Lisbon has fun under the protection of popular saints

June is the month of popular festivals and venerated saints: Anthony, John and Peter.

In Lisbon, Saint Anthony gets the lion’s share of the attention: he sets the tone.

June is a festive month, with the traditional arraias, public places decorated with garlands of yellow, green and red. It’s the perfect place to enjoy grilled sardines to the sound of the flonflons.

Saint Anthony’s Day has its own rituals and festivities.

The popular marches, with the parade of the neighbourhoods on the evening of the 12th on the Avenue de la Liberté, on the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day.

Saint Anthony also has his own celebrations: from 1 to 11 June, the museum dedicated to him near Saint Anthony’s church organises concerts, shows and events in his honour.

And let’s not forget the Saint Anthony thrones: mini thrones dedicated to the saint, made by local residents on a voluntary basis and the subject of a competition.

Shop windows are dedicated to Lisbon’s patron saint, and on the 12th Saint Anthony’s Day brides and grooms are given a ceremony entirely paid for by the town hall.

We suggest you read our articles on Saint Anthony,

the sardines that are eaten at this time of year, the popular marches that brighten up the streets and the basil that brings good luck.

The Town Hall is responsible for organising the festivities.

Festas de Lisbonne

                                              The festa: also an urban programme

Popular  Festa are increasingly taking the form of cultural programming. The aim is to occupy the street and public space.

Festas cá da casa (Festivals from home): concerts, exhibitions, performances. Something for everyone.

some dates :

– On 8 June at 7.30pm, HHY & The Macumbas at the Teatro do Bairro Alto

-On 27 June, Asteria, traditional music from the Mediterranean, at the Teatro romano at 6pm.

-On 28 June, puppet exhibition at the Puppet Museum.

– from 9 to 23 June, jumping over the fire (saltar a fogueira), guided tour at the Bordalo Pinheiro Museum. Admission €2, registration required. To find out more about the tradition of the Saint John’s bonfires.

Outras Festas (other festivals)

The Town Hall devotes several days to Asian communities.

-2 June: Bollywood Holi festival and Indian market (Hindu community of Portugal, Ghandi)

8 June: Korean culture festival at the Lisbon Museum/Palais Pimenta

14 to 16 June: VII Encounters of Associations and Regionalism, Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques

21 to 23 June: Thai Festival, Vasco da Gama Garden in Belém

29 June: Japan Festival, Vasco da Gama Garden, Belém

The programme of the festa is packed. It is best to consult the website dedicated to the Festas

                                                       Moments not to be missed

Our favourites at www.lisbonne-affinité for two arraias, because of their originality, their friendliness and their difference:

the Vila Bertha arraial from 1 to 12 June, amidst the colourful houses of the old workers’ quarter.

and on 22 June, the arraial pride, a gay-friendly Lisbon feature, in the Terreiro do Paço square.

Some not-to-be-missed events during these festivities:

2 June: Saint Anthony’s race

20 June: the fado and pop singer Mariza at São Jorge Castle – 9.30pm

from 27 June to 13 July: Cineconchas, an open-air cinema in the garden of Quinta das Conchas at 9.45pm.

To round off the festivities, there will be two concerts on the Palce Terreiro do Paço

Tony Carreira, the Portuguese crooner, on 29 June at 9.30pm. And on 30 June, the reggae and dance singer Richie Campbell and his guests.

Viva as festas! viva Lisboa!