What to know about the São João festivities in Porto

18 de June, 2024

One of the most beautiful and lively times of the year is approaching in the city of Porto. The Popular Saints’ Festivals are well known in Portugal, especially in Lisbon and Porto.

While Lisbon celebrates St. Anthony’s Day from June 12th to 13th, Porto devotes all its spirit to the feast of St. John, from June 23rd to 24th, dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

The whole city is in an unparalleled festive mood in the streets of the ‘Invicta’. There are entire neighborhoods with the best spirit of celebration in Porto, which are best known for having decades of tradition in the festivities. At Olivia Singular Houses we share with you a guide to the main traditions, so you can party with us!

Martelinhos, Alhos Porros and Manjericos

In the decorated streets, play takes over with the iconic plastic hammers. These are used to lightly tap each other’s heads in the streets in a symbolic gesture of “purification” and “renewal”, warding off evil spirits and negative energies.

Leeks were once used by boys to attract the attention of girls. The girls, on the other hand, returned with adorned marjoram with affectionate messages that today remain one of the greatest, if not the greatest symbol of these festivities.

Hot air balloons in the sky

To look at the sky over Porto on the night of São João is to witness a spectacle of colors and dreams. Thousands of hot air balloons, decorated with messages of good wishes, take over the sky, creating a magical and unforgettable scene.

Gastronomy: An explosion of traditional flavors

Gastronomy is one of the highlights of the festival. The grilled sardine reigns the streets, with stalls scattered throughout the streets grilling fresh sardines, accompanied by peppers, boiled potatoes and cornbread. Caldo verde, bifanas, francesinhas and the famous Port wine complete the list of unmissable flavors.

Fireworks light up the party

The night of São João culminates with a grand fireworks display. The city lights up with synchronized fireworks, while traditional and modern music entertains people in the streets.

More than a festival, a unique experience

São João do Porto is more than a festival, it’s a unique experience that connects people, celebrates culture and creates unparalleled memories. The party in our city is an invitation to indulge in contagious joy, vibrant music and delicious food, all in a welcoming atmosphere full of magic.

Count on Olivia Singular Houses to give you all the tips!

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