Lisbon’s biggest annual event used to happen only on and around June 12th, but it’s been expanding in the last few years. The “Festas de Lisboa” (the Lisbon Feasts) now take place from May to July with several events around the city, and they’ve just begun. June 12 is still the most important date, honoring St. Anthony who was born in the city, although this is not a religious festival. It’s a day to descend the steep streets at eat and drink around the city before or after attending special events around the corner. This year they include jazz, Fado, and several other special shows:
Five green spaces in the city will be hosting jazz concerts every Sunday at 5PM. In May the chosen site is Jardim da Estrela, the Campo Grande Garden (opposite from the City Museum) will be the stage in June, and in July it moves to Edward VII Park. In August it will be the lawns in front of BelÃ©m Tower.
From now until July 15, Cinema SÃ£o Jorge on Avenida da Liberdade will host free concerts and DJ sets every afternoon at 3PM until 9PM from Sunday to Wednesday, and from 3PM to 1AM from Thursday to Saturday.
CHIADO IN FASHION
From June 1st to the 6th, the streets of the city’s Chiado district will be the stage for dance performances and fashion-related events.
FADO IN THE CASTLE
Every Friday and Saturday at 10PM from June 4th to the 26th you can hear Lisbon’s music in the city’s most historical site, the Castle of St. George. While most activities related to the Lisbon Feasts are free, this one charges admission (â‚¬12.50).
FADO IN THE TRAMS
From June 2nd to the 6th, then again from the 9th to the 11th, 13th, and once again from the 16th to the 20th, you can enjoy more than the ride and the sights from the city’s old trams. There will be live Fado performances on those days at 4PM and 7PM so catch a ride at those times if you can.
Join the entire country in crashing a mass wedding celebration on June 12th. Sixteen couples tie the knot in the city’s cathedral in a televised event sponsored by Lisbon’s city hall. The date is special because it celebrates St. Anthony who was known as a matchmaker.
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE PARADE
The “Marchas Populares” (literally “Popular Marches”) is a parade of colorful costumes and cheerful songs marching down the city’s main avenue on the night of June 12th. Each group represents a Lisbon neighborhood and there is a winner for best song and costumes. Look out for Alfama‘s which seems to win at least every other year.
Lisbon’s LGBT Pride will be in a special celebratory mood this year now that Portugal has just become Europe’s 6th country to legalize gay marriage. The city’s 14th annual gay party will include activities entitled “queer games” and “Gay Village.” This year it all takes place in the renovated Comercio Square on June 26th.