Dia da Liberdade (Freedom Day) comes to Portugal next week on the 25th of April, as the people of Portugal celebrate the end of the dictatorship which happened on the same day in 1974.
The revolution, known as Revolução dos Cravos (Carnation Revolution), marked the end of dictatorship in the country and lit the touch papers for a new era of democracy and civil rights.
Unlike many revolutions elsewhere over time and across the globe, Portugal’s Revolução dos Cravos was remarkably peaceful, with few shots fired. Instead, carnations were placed in the muzzles of guns as a symbol of peace. The red colour of the flowers represented the communist and socialist ideologies which were supported by many people at this time. The people of Portugal swarmed the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and wars with Portuguese colonies.
Shortly after the revolution, the Portuguese decided to commemorate the event. A bridge, formerly named ‘Ponte Salazar’ after Portugal’s fascist ruler, was renamed ‘Ponte 25 de Abril’. The bridge, which connects Lisbon to towns across the river, shines brightly in the Portuguese sun and is an important attraction in the Lisboan landscape.
To this day, the 25th April is celebrated in Portugal in many different ways. In Lisbon, a variety of events take place for people to learn and rejoice in the country’s history, including exhibitions, film festivals, political speeches, food stalls and live music. The public holiday is yet another excuse to enjoy the warm weather and the delicious Portuguese food as the summer approaches.