Portugal Day

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Portugal Day, officially PortugueseDia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas (Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities), is Portugal’s National Day celebrated annually on 10 June.

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Although officially observed only in Portugal, Portuguese citizens and emigrants throughout the world celebrate this holiday. The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.

Honoring Camões

Camões wrote Os Lusíadas (usually translated as The Lusiads), Portugal’s national epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements. The poem focuses mainly on the 15th-century Portuguese explorations, which brought fame and fortune to the country. The poem, considered one of the finest and most important works in Portuguese literature, became a symbol for the great feats of the Portuguese Empire.

Camões was an adventurer who lost one eye fighting in Ceuta, wrote the poem while traveling, and survived a shipwreck in Cochinchina (a region of present-day Vietnam). According to popular folklore, Camões saved his epic poem by swimming with one arm while keeping the other arm above water. Since his date of birth is unknown, his date of death is celebrated as Portugal’s National Day.

Although Camões became a symbol for Portugal nationalism, his death coincided with the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580 that eventually resulted in Philip II of Spain claiming the Portuguese throne. Portugal was then ruled by three generations of Spanish kings during the Iberian Union (1580–1640). On 1 December 1640, the country regained its independence once again by expelling the Spanish during the Portuguese Restoration War and making John of Bragança, King John IV of Portugal.

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During the authoritarian Estado Novo regime in the 20th century, Camões was used as a symbol for the Portuguese nation. In 1944, at the dedication ceremony of the National Stadium in Oeiras (near Lisbon), Prime Minister of Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar referred to 10 June as Dia da Raça (Day of the Portuguese Race). The notion of a Portuguese “race” served his nationalist purposes.[1]

Portugal Day celebrations were officially suspended during the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Celebrations resumed after 1974 and were expanded to include the Comunidades Portuguesas, Portuguese emigrants and their descendants living in communities all around the world.

The celebrations involve various military ceremonies, exhibitions, concerts, pageants and parades, and an awards ceremony by the President of the Portuguese Republic. Every year, the President chooses a city to host the official celebrations.

This year, and for the first time, the official celebrations will take place in Paris, France, house to the biggest Portuguese community abroad.
This will also be the first time President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa presides to the ceremonies, traveling to Paris after inaugurating the celebrations in Lisbon.

Anúncios

Military Portugal


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Military Portugal

Military forces play a fundamental role in every country. Portugal is no different. After fighting for us – agree with the war reasons or not, they were fighting for the country -, they took a different path and embrace the task of giving us democracy. If there’s something important and decisive in our 900 years of age was the end of an extremely dark political period and the birth of freedom.

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Nowadays, Portugal military forces play a similar role but, luckily not inside our borders. Around the world, this men and women struggle to implement and maintain peace, to keep others safe from several dangers.  Either it’s fighting  piracy, terrorism or peace keeping and rescuing illegal immigrants tasks, they perform it with honour and respect for others.

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And I’m proud to say that thanks to them, people know Portuguese people as kind, generous and brave humans. Thank you isn’t enough but it’s all I got to say to our Armed Forces.

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