Portugal Day - 10th June
10th June is marked as Portugal Day.
It is officially known as Dia de Camões, de Portugal e das Comunidades Portuguesas ("Day of Camões, Portugal, and the Portuguese Communities"), marks the death of Luís de Camões' on June 10, 1580 which is also observed as Portugal's National Day. Luis de Camões wrote the Lusiads, Portugal's national epic poem which celebrates history and achievements of the Portuguese.
This day is officially celebrated only in Portugal but Portuguese descendents throughout the world celebrate the holiday regardles of whether they live in Brazil or not. It is observed by the Portugese staying in India, the US, Canada, Europe etc.
Every 10th day of June, the Portuguese celebrate their national holiday known as Dia de Portugal in the native tongue. The rest of the world recognizes this momentous occasion as Portugal Day. This date commemorates the death of Luís de Camões, a significant figure in the history of Portugal. Camões is best known for his work on Lusiadas, the national epic poem of Portugal that celebrates the nation’s successes and rich history. Although this holiday is only celebrated officially in the homeland, Portuguese citizens from other countries such as India, Brazil, Canada, and other European nations also honor Portugal Day.
The Lusiadas is an epic poem that depicts the achievements of the Portuguese in world explorations in the 16th century. Portugal played an important role in the discovery of the new world during this century and their accomplishments have definitely put this European country on the map. In fact, legendary voyager Ferdinand Magellan hails from this proud nation. Camões’ poem captures the essence of this golden era for the Portuguese as it remains as one of the finest and most relevant works in Portuguese literature.
A monument built in memory of Luís de Camões stands proudly in one of the busy streets of beautiful Lisbon, the country’s capital city. It immortalizes the character of Portugal’s national poet and is able to aptly represent the person that he was. Luís de Camões was known to be an adventurer. Among his many escapades include surviving a shipwreck in the region of Cochinchina (now known as Vietnam), and losing an eye while in battle in Ceuta. Legend has it that in order to save the Lusiadas, Camões had to keep it afloat with one of his hands, while he used his other arm to swim through the unforgiving waters of the region’s seas. His patriotism and bravery are just a few of the qualities Luís de Camões had that made the nation chose to celebrate Portugal Day in his honor.
Portugal was conquered by Spain in the year 1580. It is quite ironic that the nation lost its independence in the year that saw the death of Camões. Three generations and sixty years of Spanish rule after, Portugal regained its independence in Decmber 1, 1640. Since then, the country’s national day was established and subsequently celebrated on June 10. It is because of uncertainties on Camões’ birth date that Portugal Day was established to commemorate the hero’s death.