The beloved Dia de Portugal (Day of Portugal) is a holiday celebrated every year on June 10th in every corner of the Portuguese-speaking world. Officially known as "Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas" (Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities), June 10th commemorates the death of the esteemed Portuguese poet, soldier and sailor, Luís Vaz de Camões, who died in 1580. With his poem, Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads), Camões venerates the great Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1469−1524) and the achievements of Portugal and its people in venturing out into the Atlantic, rounding the tip of Africa, and forging a path to India.
Os Lusíadas is focused on the 15th-century Portuguese explorations which brought huge fame and fortune to Portugal. The poem, considered one of the most important works in Portuguese literature, became a lasting symbol of the many feats of the Portuguese Empire. The word Lusiads appears to refer to the people from Lusitania, the name of Portugal during the Roman Empire.
Camões remains a much-celebrated part of Portugal’s history. When you travel in Portugal and see a painting or a statue of a man in medieval armor with one eye closed, it is the most popular depiction of Camões. The loss of an eye resulted from Camões’ time as a Portuguese soldier. Dia de Portugal is a national holiday in Portugal where on the day, people take time to celebrate the best of the Portuguese culture with food, drinks and time spend with family and friends. And throughout the world, Portuguese people everywhere join with others in a celebration of their Portuguese culture. This special day is an opportunity to celebrate one of the world’s oldest cultures and a way to preserve a heritage that remains very meaningful in the hearts of Portuguese people throughout the world.
From your friends at Rooster Camisa, happy celebrating to you and stay safe!
Written by Margaret Resendes Peek