Saint John Festival


FSCD 2016 will take place at a very special time of the year for Porto, during which the Festival of Saint John of Porto takes place

The Porto Festival of Saint John is one of Europe's liveliest street festivals.  The festival lasts for several days, with its peak at the night of 23rd to 24th of June, with popular dancing parties from Ribeira to Foz all night long.

Time to celebrate, with friends, relatives, neighbours or simply with other people in streets, armed with colored plastic hammers, huge garlic flowers or a bunch of lemongrass to gently greet passers-by.  Fireworks, grilled sardines, barbecues, bonfires, potted basil plants ("manjericos") and the sky covered by incandescent sky lanterns (“balões de S.João) launched from every corner make this party unique. 

The sky lanterns are made of thin paper and cannot be released until they are filled in with hot air. Sometimes they burn out still on ground or on the way up, if a sudden gust of wind catches them. For this reason, the successful launchers usually follow the movement of their sky lanterns, with a mixture of anxiety and joy, for as long as  they can distinguish them in the sky. 

At midnight all eyes are drawn to the sky for the much anticipated and magnificent fireworks, which are launched from the Douro river, and are visible from several points both on Porto and Gaia (the city across the river). This is one of the highest points of the evening!