São João: My Favourite Holiday! Makeup + Fireworks + More!

by - June 27, 2016

São João, a festivity inside a holiday called Santos Populares. Santos Populares, the most portuguese holiday ever. It is only celebrated here and it's my absolute favourite. If you don't know what São João or Santos Populares is I'll explain. Santos Populares is divided into three festivities: Santo António, São João and São Pedro. Santo António is the one that comes first, on the 13th of June and only a few cities/villages celebrate it. Then it's São João, on the 24th, which is also only celebrated on some cities/villages (including my city) and then on the 29th, São Pedro, which is celebrated on the other cities/villages. Every city/village/distict/region has one of these festivities and they have a lot in common but also many differences. The main similarity is that the main course for dinner is sardines. Also the fireworks at midnight.
I love São João. Ever since I was little I always loved it, except for the fireworks, but now I love them. I grew up in a house with a big patio so most of the times, dinner was at my house. We invited my brothers, my aunts and uncles, my godparents and this one time even my godmother and her sisters' friends came over. It was always a big party and the one thing I love the most about it is that it's ours and no other country has anything like this.
So now, I'm gonna share with you how my day/night/weekend went and I'm gonna show you what São João is like in my city.

I'm gonna show you my makeup first and then proceed to the festivites. 

So for my makeup I used a full coverage foundation because I wanted to look and feel flawless on probably my favourite night of the year. I decided to be bold and use a blue pencil eyeliner from Essence but it wasn't really a good choice. It kept breaking and it was hard to draw anything but I did an okay job and one good thing is that it stayed on all night without smudging or transfering to my brow bone, which always happens when I use liner on my top lashline. For my lips, I went for a nude colour so that my eyes would get all the attention. I really loved this look and I'll do it more often even though that eyeliner is the devil in blue.

So now for the festivity. First of all it starts with a grill. 

That's where we're gonna making the sardines, the meat, the peppers and the sausages. Because I'm transitioning to a vegetarian diet, I didn't eat any of this except for the peppers. Instead, I had a vegetarian pizza and a quinoa salad with tomatoes and peppers. It was really good and it left me full and ready for the night. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the food because I was too hungry and eager to eat but maybe next year I won't be such a fail. We usually have dinner outside because it's too hot to be inside. Oh and I can't forget to meantion the soundtrack of our dinner and of the making of the dinner which consists of a lot of popular music, such as Quim Barreiros and Rosinha. If you're portuguese, you'll know but if you're not then go search it on youtube and check it out. This kind of music is very portuguese and it's the kind of music that is a bit embarrasing for us but at the same time we love it. It's hard to explain haha

After dinner, it's time to set the lanters on fire. Literally. This is something that you often see in movies or on tumblr but I'm happy to tell you that the idea was born here and it's totally portuguese. So these lanters are made of paper in the shape of a hot air baloon and on the bottom it has a bit of a flamable square which I don't really know what it's made of. But basically, we set it on fire, push it towards the ground only leaving a couple cm for the air to go inside the lantern and when we feel like it's ready, we let it go and watch it fly away. 

It's always fun to see a bunch of people gathered around the lantern and watch them fight over whether it's ready to fly off or not and then there's always the "expert" that is usually right but sometimes is proven wrong... It's a lot of fun to watch it all happen, trust me. 

And for some people the night usually ends with the fireworks. This year's theme was "Rock Legends" and it was probably my favourite of the past few years. It was beautiful and as usual they had music playing while the fireworks were on, which this year made total sense. And I loved it when people started to sing along. I filmed a video but trust me, what you're about to watch is nothing compared to the real thing. And by the way, if you hear or see people it was either me, my best friend or the people around us. Enjoy!

And then after the fireworks, many people go home, other go and have a drink or go eat farturas or churros and then go home. But the real tradition of São João is just to walk around the city. All night. Drinking, eating, stopping to watch a concert downtown, for hours and hours until the sun came up again, like it does every morning. 

The streets are always packed with people and that night, 90% of the citizens don't sleep. And it's not just young people who do this. I've seen some elders stay up all night, wandering around town, because age is just a number! 

But let's not forget about the most entertaining thing of the night, after the fireworks. Hammering people in the head. I mean it. Not with real hammers, obviously. It's these tradicional hammers made of plastic that make thing high pitched sound when one of the sides is pressed inside, like when you hit someone in the head with it. It doesn't hurt but it sure is annoying. But it's tradition and the kids love it.

So after all of this you would think it was over and the holiday was over until next year but you're wrong. Yesterday, Sunday the 26th I was with my family on a peaceful trip to a beach we go to all the time when we see a parade of a marcha. And what is a "marcha"? It's basically a little show where a bunch of people dressed up do a dance to a song written by them about Santo António or São João or São Pedro or even all of them together. It's really pretty and then they have those things I don't know the name of (sorry...) that they dance with by dancing around it, or under it. You can see it on the pictures. Usually these groups compete among themselves but in this case it was just a parade, not a competition.

And this was my São João. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it made you curious about my city and my culture and maybe I made you want to come here one day :)

I hope you're having a great day,
Marta Ribeiro xx

All of the pictures are protected by Copyright. Any use without given credit is punished by law.

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