Celebrating Santo António in Lisboa
June is the month of celebrations and festivities for the Popular Saints throughout the country on the nights of St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter.
In Lisbon, people from every neighbourhood parade down Avenida da Liberdade, filling this major road with colourful characters in costume, folk music, and throngs of spectators. But the crowds and liveliness also fill the narrow back streets, particularly in Alfama, but also Graça, Bica, Mouraria and Madragoa. In the mediaeval squares and alleyways, people eat cabbage soup and grilled sardines, singing and dancing the whole night long. Another highlight is the procession of St. Anthony, which leaves on the 13th from the church of S. António in Alfama, near the Cathedral, where the saint was born in around 1193.