São João, the most awaited festival in town
São João is one of the most loved and awaited popular festivals in the city of Porto. Every year, on June 23rd the city dresses up and, both residents and tourists, fill the streets to celebrate the city's patron saint, Saint John.
The city is taken by an atmosphere of celebration and joy, with many activities and traditions that take place all over the city and last until the early hours of the morning.
One of the most emblematic traditions of the festival of São João is the launching of hot air balloons. People of all ages have fun releasing hot air balloons that fill the city's sky with colour, dreams and light.
Another deep-rooted tradition of the festival of São João is hitting others on the head with plastic hammers as a sign of good luck and prosperity. . The tradition originated from an old practice where people hit each other on the head with leeks but now it is more common for people to opt for the plastic hammers that are available for purchase around the city at this time of the year.
What's also not missing in São João is food and drink! In the streets you will find stalls and restaurants serving grilled sardines, caldo verde, bread with meat sausage and other typical dishes usually accompanied by port wine or bitter almond liqueur.
On June 23, the streets of Porto fill with life and music. There are various outdoor concerts and shows with local bands and artists taking to the improvised stages all over the city and on every street corner you can hear the traditional music of São João, the "Marcha de São João".
And the highlight of the evening is undoubtedly the firework show that lights up the city sky, creating a unique moment!
São João is a festival that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds for the celebration of tradition and the spirit of the city. If you haven't had the opportunity to experience the festival of São João in the city of Porto yet, don't miss this opportunity.