June is the best time to visit the Portuguese city of Lisbon. Three of their main holidays take place during this month, and during my four week trip abroad, I was able to celebrate with my
group and with city locals. Portugal Day is June 10th, Santo Antonio Day is June 13th, and the Feast of Corpus Christi is on June 16th. This means that the city of Lisbon was alive and vibrant for all of my four week trip. These holidays are not isolated to just their date though. It truly is a month-long celebration filled with music, dancing, eating, drinking, and celebration. Around the corner from our apartment was a large shopping center, Campo Pequeno, which held a bullfighting arena, a shopping mall, and a few restaurants. The park area surrounding Campo Pequeno was transformed into a carnival for the entire month. Food trucks and rides were set up for the kids and a large stage was set up in the middle of everything. Every night, different activities would happen in the park. Some nights were karaoke, some nights were different singers or music groups, and some nights even showed Portuguese soccer matches for people to come and watch for free. I could always hear the music from my hotel room when I slept with my window open. Campo Pequeno offered a fun spot for my friends and I to dance and sing while celebrating with the locals. If we wanted more of a celebration, though, we found ourselves getting on the metro to Alfama, the downtown historical center of Lisbon where people flooded the streets. Tables and grills were set up in the streets, decorations lined the buildings, and there was not an empty cup to be seen. The Portuguese people are very open and tend to be incredibly friendly with everyone they encounter, if not a little loud. Sardines are the main dish for this holiday, and the entire city smelled like grilled fish and charcoal. On every door step is a collection dish for coins that people can donate to in honor of St. Antonio. The money goes to the family of the house to help with bills, small renovations, or other things. Santo Antonio Day is a week-long party for the Portuguese that leads right into the Feast of Corpus Christi. Santo Antonio Day is a big deal in Lisbon where Saint Antonio is a patron saint, but Corpus Christi is a big deal in Porto, a port city about three hours north of Lisbon. On this day, Christian people gather together to commemorate the Last Supper. Both of these celebrations last for multiple days, even weeks depending on what part of Portugal you are in. If you are looking for a celebration, Lisbon in June is the place for you.