Day of Portugal:
The date honors the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580, famous for writing the most extraordinary piece about the Portuguese adventures and discoveries – the Lusíadas!
Camões wrote the Lusíadas focusing this epic poem 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 knowledge, Camões saved his epic poem by swimming with one arm while keeping the other above water. Because his birth date is unknown, the date of his death is celebrated as Portugal’s National Day.
The celebrations include several military events, exhibitions, concerts, and parades, besides an official ceremony led by the President of the Republic.
Check here our Free Walking Tour of Lisbon and learn more about Luis de Camões.