Street graffiti in Albufeira: 25 April forever
The 25 April (25 de Abril in Portuguese) is a national holiday in both Australia and Portugal for important yet different reasons. Read on to find out why.
Let’s start with Portugal.
As you’ll know from my previous post about the economy, Portugal was governed by a dictatorship for almost five decades, making it the longest dictatorship in European history.
The dictatorship was instigated following a military coup in 1926, which overthrew the First Portuguese Republic.
At the helm for much of the dictatorship was a guy by the name of António de Oliveira Salazar.
Salazar was a university professor (he studied and taught at the University of Coimbra) and authoritarian, and quite successfully reined in Portugal’s finances as finance minister. He then went on to become Prime Minister in 1932.
While in the top job, Salazar went about establishing the Estado Novo regime (where estado = state and novo = new). This regime prioritised order over freedom and included press censorship and covert police as well as bans on political parties and strikes; essentially repressing the community.
Then enter the Armed Forces Movement, a group of military officers opposed to the regime (including the ongoing wars in Portugal’s African colonies), who planned and carried out a coup on 25 April 1974 to successfully overthrow the dictatorship.
The almost bloodless coup is renowned for its civility and is referred to as the Carnation Revolution as crowds on the street placed the in-season flowers in troops' rifle muzzles.
The Carnation Revolution led to introduction of a new constitution, the end of Portuguese colonialism and reinstatement of civil liberties, and marks the beginning of Portugal’s current democracy. The 25 April is also commonly known as 'Freedom Day' in Portugal.
Now, on the other side of the globe, what do Aussies get up to on 25 April?
For Australians, 25 April marks Anzac Day – the anniversary of Australian and New Zealand troops landing in Gallipoli during World War I in 1915, where the term ‘Anzac’ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The national holiday represents more than this specific event however and is a day to remember all Australians (and our kiwi [New Zealand] mates) who have made sacrifices in war.
The first Anzac Day commemorations were observed on 25 April in 1916 and the day became a nation-wide public holiday in 1927.
On 25 April Australians flood streets, parks and beaches to pay respect to the fallen, often before daybreak to honour the time of the original landing in Gallipoli. It’s traditional for a lone bugler to play the Last Post along with a recitation of the Ode, which is the fourth stanza of the poem For the Fallen by British poet and writer Laurence Binyon.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Lisbon’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge look-alike was originally named the Salazar Bridge after the dictator, however was renamed Ponte 25 de Abril (25 April Bridge) after the Carnation Revolution.
top Portugal travel blog to follow right now by The Culture Trip (2017)
The Portugal Wire is the blog of Australian travel writer and photographer Emily McAuliffe.
Things you might not know about Portugal
A brief history of Portugal
Who was the first person to sail around the world? (Hint: he was Portuguese ... and then he wasn't)
A quick overview of Portugal's economy
25 April: a shared day in history for Australia and Portugal
Portugal's bridges: go big or go home
Portugal and Spain: same same but different?
Interesting facts about Porto
Traditional Portuguese food: what to eat and drink in Portugal
Who are they? Famous names on the streets of Portugal
Interesting facts about Lisbon
Uncovering Porto's secret gardens
Lonely Planet Instagram takeover: sharing some of my favourite hidden spots in Portugal