The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA wishes to congratulate the Government and the people of Portugal on the occasion of Portugal Day and wishes the Government and the people of Portugal Peace, Unity and Prosperity.
Portugal Day, officially known as Dia de Camões, de Portugal e das Comunidades Portuguesas (‘Day of Camões, Portugal, and the Portuguese Communities’), commemorates the death of Luís de Camõeson June 10th 1580.
It is Portugal’s National Day.
Camões wrote the Lusiads, Portugal’s national epic celebrating the country’s history and achievements. While it is only officially celebrated in Portugal, Portuguese descendants across the world also celebrates the holiday.
The Lusiads focuses on the Portuguese explorations in the 16th century, which greatly expanded the influence of Portugal. The poem is considered to be the most important piece of Portuguese literature and has become a symbol for the glory of the Portuguese nation.
Camões was a colourful character. He lost one eye fighting and was shipwrecked off the coast of present-day Vietnam. According to legend, during the shipwrecking, he kept his epic poem dry by swimming with one arm and keeping the other arm above water.
In the year that Camões died, Portugal lost its independence to Spain and began a period of rule by three generations of Spanish kings. It was over 60 years before the country regained its independence.
For such national days, it is common practice to use a date of birth to mark the national day, but since Camões’ date of birth was not known, the date of his death is celebrated instead.
During the rule of the Portuguese authoritarian regime up to 1974, Camões was used as a symbol for the Portuguese ‘race’ by the nationalists. Because of that, the June 10th celebrations were officially suspended during the Carnation Revolution in 1974, resuming as a more inclusive celebration including commemorating Portuguese communities around the world.