Everything you Need to Know About São João in Porto

June is officially the month of the festivities in Portugal, better known as the month of the Popular Saint’s Festivities.


In Lisbon, on the night of the 12th to the 13th of June, Santo António is celebrated and, in Porto, on the night of the 23rd to the 24th of June, it’s time to celebrate São João. The festivities mean great enthusiasm. People go to the streets to eat the typical sardines with bread, to drink and to have fun. The streets are transformed into walkways, decorated with arches, balloons of all colors and the usual basil pots.


Is São João on the 23rd or the 24th of June? Well, the official day is the 24th, but the celebrations start the night before, as the tradition dictates.

Celebrating with plastic hammers

The more traditional neighborhoods, such as Miragaia, Fontainhas, Ribeira and Massarelos, are full of revelers with their plastic hammers in their hands. If you’re there, get ready to be hammered in your head and don’t forget to buy a hammer, so that you can retaliate. At midnight, all eyes will be turned to the fireworks  launched in the middle of the Douro River. The balloons of São João combined with the fireworks provide a unique show, not to be missed. Be sure you are around!

Fireworks in Douro River

After that, the most resistant continue to walk in the charming streets of Miragaia, passing by the river mouth until reaching Matosinhos to watch the sunrise. Are you curious? Click here to see more about how the party happens.  

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