Catholicism remains important to Portugal and
its people. Traditional Catholic celebrations, processions and pilgrimages
are important in the lives of the Portuguese.
Religious holidays such as Good Friday and Easter, the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (August 15), All Saints Day (November 1), the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and Christmas are celebrated everywhere in Portugal.
In addition to these national holidays, there are special holidays in different regions and cities, in honour of their patron saints. For example, in Lisbon, June 13 is the Feast of St. Anthony. In Porto, they celebrate St. John the Baptist's feast day on June 24. The Azores have festivals in honour of Espirito Santo (the Holy Spirit) and Corpus Christi. In Sao Miguel, they celebrate the Festival of Christ of Miracles. Madeira celebrates the festival of Our Lady of Monte and Saint Sylvester.
There are also several national holidays. April 25 is called Freedom Day and marks the Revolution of the Carnations in 1974, when Portugal shook off an oppressive regime. Labour Day on May 1 is a special day for workers and trade unions, celebrated with parades and speeches.
Portugal Day, also known as the National Holiday, is celebrated on June 10. It marks the death of Portugal's most revered figure, Luis de Cames in 1580 who wrote an epic poem called Os Lusiadas. This poem was named after the original people of the country and tells about the Portuguese and their achievements throughout the world.
On October 5, Portuguese people celebrate the proclamation of the republic, which took place on that day in 1910. December 1 is the holiday of the Restoration of Independence.