We know, the title brings a question to all of you painters – what’s São João? Well, IF you lived here in Portugal or visited, you would know! São João is a festival we do in 23-24 June in several parts of Portugal, Porto being the city that participates the most. São João is a saint, we think we all know what has done and basically we thank him and wait for his blessing by celebrating (quite a funny way, I know).
During the night of 23 June, families and friends reunite and eat sardines or any-fish-you-can-possibly-eat – the city is full of smoke and smell of grilled fish! As might weird it sounds, it’s one of our favourite smells. It feels like the whole city is reunited in this festival and regardless our social status, religious beliefs or racial problems, we’re all together in this party and we all try to enjoy it and make it memorable. Most of the neighbourhoods eat outside in some wood tables spread across the city as if we’re a community.
We also launch some paper balloons which is pretty much the best thing of the night – it’s like the Tangled scene but in Porto and real life. The sky is filled with paper balloons and everyone tries to see where their balloon is flying to. Hopefully, not to someone’s roof but to the sea. Lastly, the most annoying thing about this party – the plastic hammers and smelly plants. Appearently, it’s a tradition to hit with plastic hammers to each others head. No, we’re not stupid, just happy enough to be hitting each others head. It’s better than the smelly plants, trust me!
If you want to visit Porto, you should really come at this season. The weather is amazing, the streets are filled with happy and enjoyable faces and you’ll get to see one of the most magical nights we’ve ever seen.