The Porto Queima das Fitas (meaning burning the ribbons) is an academic event, where final-year university students celebrate the end of their course. However, nowadays, it isn't just a festival for final-year students, but for all students and for the community as a whole, and is considered the city's second largest festival, after the St. John's Festivities.
The first Queima das Fitas in Porto took place in 1920, when the Medical students from Porto University organised a party which they called "Festa da Pasta' (Dossier Party), in which the fifth-year, finalists passed the dossier to the fourth-year students. Over time, the name of this festival changed, becoming a tradition and now there is a 'Queima das Fitas' at every university, normally during May.
Porto's 'Queima das Fitas' involves numerous activities and events, such as the traditional (Fados) serenade, the street academic parade (where the finalist take part on the parade, along with the freshmen, who cease to be so after this procession) many night events, concerts, the festival of the Tunas Aadémicas (traditional academic musical formations) and the Sarau Cultural (cultural performance). The Mass of the Blessing of the Dossiers takes place in Avenida dos Aliados and is for the finalists who, usually accompanied by their families, mark the end of this particular part of their academic career. That is why it went from being a student's party to an event for the community and one of the biggest in the city!
Porto's 'Queima das Fitas' has its own particular venue, adjacent to Parque da Cidade, in the place where the former Porto Fairground used to be.
At this festivity, and especially the procession, the final-year students parade in their academic costume, with a hat and cane in the colours of the course.
Make the most of it, join in and have fun too!