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POPULAR SAINTS CELEBRATIONS

POPULAR SAINTS CELEBRATIONS

The Popular Saints represent one of Portugal's most beloved and vibrant traditions. During June, the streets are filled with joy and colour to celebrate Saint Anthony, Saint John and Saint Peter.

In Lisbon, the party starts on June 12th, the eve of St. Anthony's Day. Considered the matchmaking saint, it is common to see "Saint Anthony's weddings", where several couples celebrate their marriage in honour of this Saint. The streets of the capital are filled with basil, flower arches and colourful balloons. Music and traditional snacks, such as grilled sardines, accompany popular marches, in a true celebration of Portuguese culture and tradition.

In the north of the country, in Porto and Braga, it is São João that is celebrated with the most fervour. On the night of June 23rd to 24th, people gather for the typical leek and martelinho de São João. There are bonfires in the streets and the launch of hot air balloons. The party lasts well into the night, with the sound of concerts and fireworks at midnight... And, the next day, the traditional Cabrito cannot be missed.

Finally, São Pedro is celebrated all over the country, but it is in Póvoa de Varzim that the party takes on a greater dimension. On the 28th and 29th of June, the streets are filled with agricultural implements in honour of this Saint, the protector of fishermen. Raids, challenging songs and fireworks are highlights of the celebrations.

Santos Populares are a celebration of Portuguese culture, an opportunity to gather family and friends and, of course, to enjoy the delicious delicacies that characterize these festivals.

The typical food of Santos Populares.

It's inevitable: the Santos Populares festivities are inseparable from the smell of grilled sardines that these days tend to invade every corner of the city. Therefore, to celebrate this date at home, you must ensure that there is no shortage of sardines on the table, preferably roasted on a charcoal grill.

But first, don't forget the typical green broth. Then, you can fill the table with a lettuce, tomato and onion salad or some colourful miniature peppers grilled with aromatic herb oil. Furthermore, you can also add the very Portuguese bifanas on bread to the menu.

If you want to reinvent tradition, you can also opt for some canned sardine tapas with cornbread.

Santos Populares always goes well with homemade sangria or beer.

Finally, we cannot end this chapter without talking about dessert. Once again, the suggestion brings tradition to the table: creamy rice pudding.

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