Thursday, 25 June 2009

A Tribute to : Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, one of the biggest pop icons in modern history, has passed away at the age of 50. Although Jackson’s music career hit its peak in the 80’s, his influence on music, and especially music videos, has persisted throughout.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Saint Jonh's Day- "São João"

The typical Festivities of Porto take place in June and reach the highest point on the night of the 23rd to the 24th(Saint John’s Day – “São João” in Portuguese). The festivity of Saint John is one of the most important cultural expressions of the Portuguese people. On the 23rd June, the city “descends upon the Baixa (downtown) and its River” until dawn. The main streets are dotted by small stands selling basils and there is a Saint John cascade every where and there to celebrate the tradition that remains since the 19th century. Everyone is out in the streets, taking part in lively “rusgas”, striking each other with small and big plastic hammers or making other people smell the famous “alho porro” (leek). Jumping the bonfire, tasting the roasted sardines and the potato and cabbage broth is also part of the festivity. The hot-air balloons, and the fireworks at midnight are the highest point of the festivities of Saint John. This popular festivity is also celebrated in Braga, my hometown.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Portugal Day- 10th June

Portugal Day (Portuguese: Dia de Portugal), officially Dia de Camões, de Portugal e das Comunidades Portuguesas ("Day of Camões, Portugal, and the Portuguese Communities"), marks the date of Luís de Camões' death in June 10, 1580 and is Portugal's National Day. Camões wrote the Lusiads, Portugal's national epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements. Although it is only officially celebrated in Portugal, Portuguese citizens and also Portuguese immigrants throughout the world celebrate this holiday.
The poem is mainly about the 16th century Portuguese explorations, which brought fame and fortune to Portugal. Camões' poem, considered one of the finest and most important works in Portuguese literature, became a symbol for the greatness of the Portuguese nation. Camões was an adventurer, lost one eye fighting in Ceuta, wrote the Portuguese epic poem Os Lusíadas while travelling, and survived a shipwreck in Cochinchina (present-day Vietnam). According to popular lore, Camões saved his epic poem by swimming with one arm while keeping the other arm above water. Camões became a national symbol. Yet, in the year of his death, Portugal lost its independence to Spain and was ruled by three generations of Spanish kings. Sixty years later, in December 1, 1640, the country regained its independence. Since then, because Camões' date of birth is not known, the date of his death is celebrated as Portugal's national day.