For the third time on this trip, and the fifth time in less than a year, by pure luck we have arrived to witness a significant national or regional celebration. Today it is Portugal’s National Freedom Day.
On April 25 1974, the right wing fascist dictatorship which had held power in this country for nearly 50 years was overthrown in a near bloodless revolution. The military was ordered to suppress the civilian protests against the regime. After 4 people were killed the officers and soldiers refused to take further action, signaling their intentions by placing flowers in their weapons and wearing carnations. Thus the dictatorship was rendered powerless. Free elections were held the following year and Portugal not only became a democracy but also became the last nation to divest itself of its colonial holdings in Africa.
We spent the evening of April 24th with the residents of Ponte de Lima on the town square, swaying to the high energy music of the combined talents of Delfim Jr. and Ymperio. This very popular Portuguese ensemble performed for 3 continuous hours without any breaks! Our ears are still ringing.
Peace Everyone! Pete