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Day of Portugal collection

Identifier: MC -210

Scope and Contents

Collection currently consists of ephemera related to various Day of Portugal events throughout the United States


  • June 10 ongoing

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Biographical / Historical

Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities (official name) is Portugal’s National day celebrated annually on 10 June. Although officially observed only in Portugal, Portuguese citizens and emigrants throughout the world celebrate this holiday. The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.

Camões wrote Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads), Portugal's national epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements. The poem focuses mainly on the 15th-century Portuguese explorations, which brought fame and fortune to the country. The poem, considered one of the finest and most important works in Portuguese literature, became a symbol for the great feats of the Portuguese Empire.

During the authoritarian Estado Novo regime in the 20th century, Camões was used as a symbol for the Portuguese nation. In 1944, at the dedication ceremony of the National Stadium in Oeiras, Prime Minister of Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar referred to 10 June as Dia da Raça (Day of the Portuguese Race). The notion of a Portuguese "race" served his nationalist purposes. Portugal Day celebrations were officially suspended during the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Celebrations resumed after 1974 and were expanded to include the Comunidades Portuguesas, Portuguese emigrants and their descendants living in communities all around the world.

The following Portuguese-American communities are known to have Day of Portugal celebrations:

• Newark, New Jersey: the Portugal Day Festival is held on the weekend closest to 10 June. Organized by the Bernardino Coutinho Foundation from 1979 to 2010, since 2011 the festival has been organized by the Union of Portuguese-American Clubs of New Jersey (UCLANJ: União de Clubes Luso-Americanos de New Jersey). • Mineola, New York: The Nassau County Portugal Day Celebration is held annually at the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative & Executive Building by the Offices of the County Executive Ed Mangano, Comptroller George Maragos and a dozen Portuguese-American clubs and organizations. The event was first organized by Gabriel Silva Marques, who still serves as the Event Chairman. • New York City, New York: The Portuguese Circle the first Day of Portugal celebration in 2012. • Providence, Rhode Island: An annual Day of Portugal and Portuguese Heritage event occurs. • San Jose, California: The Portuguese Heritage Society of California organizes Dia de Portugal California in the city's History Park, the location of the Portuguese Historical Museum. • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: the Philadelphia Portuguese Heritage Commission organizes Portugal Day at Penn's Landing, where the Portuguese ship Gazela is docked. • New Bedford, Massachusetts: An annual Day of Portugal weekend is organized by the New Bedford Day of Portugal committee.


1 linear feet Linear Feet

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Items donated and gathered by archives staff and various community members.

Day of Portugal collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the UMass Dartmouth Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives Repository

Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA