In the same way that Guimarães Rosa wrote that there are many Minas, there are countless celebrations of Portugal Day around the world. The date, celebrated on June 10, was almost changed to a different one. This fact is worthwhile explaining here.
Shortly after the Carnation Revolution, on April 25, 1974, progressive military men and women overthrew the dictatorial regime, liberated Portugal and, with the support of the population, installed democracy. There was a consensus that that date, April 25, would become Portugal Day. Until that time, Portugal celebrated its day on June 10, created by the old regime to celebrate the Day of Race, Camões and the Portuguese Language. The aim of the date was to extol the presence of Portugal, a single race, and a single language, in the former colonies. But both in Portugal and in other countries, June 10 continued to be celebrated, added to by a fair tribute to the Portuguese communities abroad.
Since 1977, Portugal and the Portuguese have been celebrating June 10, but now as Portugal Day, the Day of Camões, and of the Portuguese Communities. April 25, also a national holiday, became Freedom Day.
Portugal Day is celebrated in more than a dozen countries. The presence and strength of the Portuguese community abroad has led the Portuguese government to participate more actively in the celebrations. Last year, Portuguese authorities were in countries such as Brazil, France, the United States, Canada, Peru, and England.
To open the 2018 celebrations, the Portuguese community in Toronto welcomed the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa. After meeting with his Canadian colleague in Ottawa, Costa participated in a meeting with the community at the LIUNA headquarters – Local 183, where he enjoyed a concert by the fado singer Camané.
Among the many celebrations, one worth mentioning is the Dundas West Festival, which this year will cover 12 blocks during the 1st and 2nd of June. With the presence of more than 200 local suppliers and 40 patios, there will be several artistic presentations, and the street will be lined with food options inspired by the cuisine of Brazil, Colombia, and New Orleans and, of course, Portuguese specialties.
On the 10th, Sunday, the highlight of the celebrations, the traditional Portugal Day Parade, will be held on Dundas St. W, between Lansdowne Avenue and Trinity Bellwoods Park.
It is worth noting that in a survey conducted in 2016, there were 550,000 Portuguese-Canadians living in Canada. That is, about 1.2% of the country’s population.
31st Annual Portugal Day Parade
Sunday, June 10: from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Dundas St. W, between Lansdowne Avenue and Trinity Bellwoods Park
Dundas West Festival
Friday, June 1st: from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday, June 2: from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m.
Location: Dundas Street West, from Ossington Street to Lansdowne Avenue