Porto observes a potpourri of religious and secular holidays. Depending on the occasion, city and national offices will be closed, plus many restaurants and shops outside the centre. In the city proper, you’ll find some shops open, but with reduced hours. Museums and monuments will most defiantly be closed and public transportation runs on a more limited schedule.
A list of the public holidays is provided below:
January 1st is New Year's Day, a time filled with traditions meant to bring good luck. Janeiras (carollers) sing on the streets, going door to door with traditional songs.
Late February to early March marks Carnival, with festivities leading up to Carnival Tuesday (a public holiday), just before the advent of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
Late March to early April is the time for Easter and Easter’s delights. Roasted meat and Folar da Páscoa (sweet bread), flavoured with anise and lemon zest, are some of the local foods you’ll want to try. Good Friday is a national holiday, falling on different dates, depending on the year.
April 25th is Liberation Day, a secular holiday commemorating the Carnation Revolution, which brought and end to fascist rule in Portugal on April 25th, 1974. The celebrations include fireworks and a parade.
May 1st brings Labour Day, which is honoured by demonstrations. Civic groups, political parties, students and trade unions often take to the streets.
June 10th is the Portugal Day, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas, also known as Portugal Day, commemorating the death of the poet and soldier Luís de Camões in 1580. Camões penned the epic poem ‘Os Lusíadas,’ a masterpiece extolling the achievements of Portugal.
June 24th is Porto's Municipal Holiday and St. John's Day. St. John "São João" is a popular saint celebrated in many parts of the country, but the festivities are far greater in Porto. After celebrating this popular saint all night long eating sardines, caldo verde, grilled peppers and wine, to recover there's really nothing better than a holiday the day after.
August 15th marks the Feast of the Assumption, a religious festival celebrating Mary’s reception into heaven. This is a public holiday in Portugal.
December 8th Yet another day for eating, commemorating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This public holiday marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
December 25th is Christmas Day, celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s a time of gift giving and family gatherings in Portugal.