Lisbon Festivities 2012: Starts tomorrow!

From May 31 to June 30, Lisbon goes to the street to celebrate the Popular Saints festival.

With a whiff of summer in the air, the Festivities of Lisbon offer a welter of entertainment activities that will invade Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods, luring lure thousands of people into the streets.

Santo António - Lisbon’s patron saint - overseas the city’s festivities that reach their highpoint on the evening of June 12, with a procession of popular marches through the Avenida da Liberdade. On the afternoon of June 13, a procession in homage to the popular Saint - who is believed to foster marriages - winds its way through the streets around the Sé cathedral and provides a special religious flavour to the festivities.

Evenings are animated by traditional festivities in Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods - from Castelo to Mouraria, Graça, Alfama, Ajuda and the Bairro Alto - with lots of music and dance to the rhythm of popular songs. Decorated with coloured globes and garlands, the city’s streets are invaded by the smell of roasted sardines and sweet basil accompanied by paper carnations and paintings that allude to Santo António.

June is the main month of these festivities, but they also extend throughout the summer, including a wide variety of events such as fado, jazz and other musical performances, fado in the city’s trams, cinema and theatre festivals, sports events and exhibitions.

Festas de Lisboa opening show: Firebirds starts off Festas de Lisboa’12 by recreating an air race with six daring pilots and their bizarre flying machines. This theatrical street performance will draw a route through the center of the city, accompanied by the live music of the French band Fanfare le Snob. Created by the Titanick Theatre, Firebirds is inspired by Humanity´s innate characteristic of overcoming its limitations, in the constant search for new goals and challenges and represents a wild fight to get the best position upon arrival. In a tribute to the Lusitanian Heritage, the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the values associated with the historical legacy of Portugal, the end of the show is marked by a Fado interpretation by the band Frei fado d’El Rei, with lirycs by the Portuguese writer valter hugo mãe.

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