Porto’s Festival of Saint John
Perhaps you recall my recent mentioning of fish heads? Or of fish-head hats? Of smoking sardines or curly green wigs? Of jubilant crowds to parades floating past while the beats and their throats formed the songs that were sung on the streets with some lyrics I could not work out but so ever enjoyed?
Does any of this ring a bell?
Quite serendipitously, I stumbled upon Lisbon’s Feast of Saint Anthony in late Spring of this year, to be precise. It was my first dabble into the Portuguese festival experience. And it was pretty bomb.
So when I learned — mid-way through our Rick Steves’ Heart of Portugal tour — that we’d be arriving in Porto the night of its patron-saint’s festivities, I could hardly believe my luck.
“You mean I get to partake in more merrymaking, à la portugais?” Sweet! But I didn’t believe Porto’s fête de Saint John could ever quite top Lisbon’s festal homage to its holiest Tony.
But then, it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong.