The Sao Joao Festivities held in Porto are, despite their being one of the most awaited and most popular festivals in Porto and Portugal alike, little known outside the Portuguese borders. While dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, these festivities combine a religious coordinate with a pagan motivation, namely, the celebration of the summer solstice. Yet, the secular events tend to prevail across the said sacred coordinate of the festival and, in fact, the worldly festivities occasioned by this day yield the spectacular side of the festival.

The Sao Joao Festivities have been organized since centuries ago, but it was only during the 19th century that they officially became a point of reference in the public agenda of Porto. Events chiefly gravitate around street parties and entertainment opportunities, the thoroughfares of Porto being packed with partygoers who delights in tasting delicious grilled sardines and meat, dancing and drinking wine. Porto is literally engulfed by festal spirit and cheerful vibe, everything culminating in the release of colorful paper balloons on the evening of June the 23rd, and in firework shows put on later at night.

If happening to stay in Porto during the Sao Joao Festivities, tourists should definitely attend the festival, since this colorful celebration sees thousands of nationals flocking to the streets of Porto, meaning it is the perfect opportunity to feel the pulse of the city in its unaffected side.

Sao Joao Festivities (Festa de Sao Joao do Porto)Joao
Porto, Portugal
23rd of June

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

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