From June 22 to 24 Porto celebrates Sao Joao, its patron saint, in one of the liveliest street festivals in Europe.
Even though it remains relatively unknown outside Portugal the festival has been celebrated for six centuries. Its roots are to be found in an ancient pagan courtship ritual and up until today it remains a tradition to hit the ones you love with plastic hammers, leeks and cloves of garlic!
The festivities are mainly set around the Cais da Ribeira, the riverside district, and at midnight fireworks light up the sky. There’s plenty of dancing, drinking and food to enjoy while having fun…and being hit in the head by basically everyone in flirtatious friendly attacks!
The party goes all night long and ends up with bonfires by the beach in Foz do Douro. The bravest (or craziest) will dare to jump over the flames.