Feast of St AnthonyThe people of Lisbon seem to be clear that the best way to celebrate their city's patron saint is to grill and eat as many sardines as possible! To be fair to them, there is a certain logic to this (tasty) sardine-frenzy which takes place between 12 - 14 June each year; legend says that when the saint was on a trip to Rinimi in Italy, the locals refused to listen to his sermons. Depressed at this Anthony went instead to the seafront and confided in the fish there who all lifted their heads above the water to listen. Locals flocked to see the spectacle and no doubt changed their minds about the need to listen to the sermons being preached by the saint from there on in!
Today the festival has very little to do with religion and is much more an excuse to eat, drink and be merry! As well as the fish dishes which are on offer all accross the city in his honor, there is a great street festival and parade with brightly coloured lanterns and streamers adorning the route. Known also as the matchmaker saint, you may also witness locals following established traditions and rtiuals aimed at using the feast as an opportunity to increase their chances of finding a perfect partner!