Monday, 12 June 2017

Lisbon Chronicles | Santos Populares ( June's Street Parties)

The month of June is a special time of the year in Portugal, with lots of street parties across the country to celebrate its most popular saints - St. Antony, St. John and St. Peter.

Lisbon holds this party mood all month, but the days that precede the 13th are the particularly festive. Eating grilled sardines and drinking sangria (and beer) in one of the many food stalls in the street is part of the party. Walking around the decorated streets of the old town neighborhoods - like Alfama and Bica - is part of the fun. Dancing to the sound of popular music is a must.

If you have a girlfriend or want to impress that special girl, buy her a manjerico. The perfumed plant is embellished with a paper flower and a flag with a small love poem. In the other hand, all the single ladies that want to get married, only have to buy a St. Antony figurine, take it home and display the good saint facing the door. Antony is a celebrated match maker and he'll guarantee that the first guy to cross your door will be your future husband. So, what can I say? Please handle the saint with care and don't open the door to any unpleasant guy!

June 12th in the evening the is a parade (Marchas de Lisboa) at Avenida da Liberdade, a contest where groups from each one of the city's neighborhoods participates with an original song, choreography and original wardrobe.

All that been said, if you're in Lisbon, enjoy a good crowd, lots of smoke and noise, overpriced grilled sardines and bottled sangria, please go ahead and  plunge into this great Lisbon tradition. All the above is truth, but you'll have a lot of fun and, if the saint fancy you,  risk yourself to get an unexpected husband.

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