Portugal Day, celebrated each year on the 10th of June is the national day of the Portuguese people around the World. It is held in remembrance of the national icon - Luis de Camoes - a poet who invoked sharp nationalistic pride in the Portuguese population. The Portugal Day is a national holiday in the countermand marks the death anniversary of Luis de Camoes who created Portugal's national epic poem, Os Lusiadadas.
According to legend, Camoes saved the epic poem after surviving a shipwreck and swimming with one arm. On the Portugal Day, several political and military ceremonies are held in capital Lisbon and exhibitions and concerts take place throughout the country A city is chosen by the Portuguese President to host the official celebration.
1) Portugal as a country came into existence in the 12th century, which makes it one of the oldest European nations.
2) It is home to some of the greatest explorers in history like Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco de Gama and Bartholomew Diaz. These men discovered places like India, Africa, Brazil and the far East.
3) Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is older than Rome, which many believe is the oldest city on the planet. Lisbon has been under occupation for 3,000 years as per archaeological findings.
4) Portuguese is the official language of Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, East Timor, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Sao The and Principe along with Goa India.
5) The Worlds oldest bookshop is the Livraria Bertrand of Lisbon which has been around since 1732 and now has more than 50 branches.
6) Portugal is home to one of the Worlds oldest universities, the university of Combria which came into existence in 1290 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7) The national drink of Portugal is also one of the most famous export, the Port Wine. It is produced extensively Portugal's UNESCO listed Douro Valley.
8) The gender health gap in Portugal is significant with the life expectancy of men at 76.2 and that of women 82.9 years.
9) The six lane Vasco da Gama bridge that crosses the Tagus River in north Lisbon is the longest bridge in the European Union and is 12.35km in length and 148 metres high.
10) Portugal is the largest exporter of cork product in the World and is home to the World's largest cork forest.
11) Over 70% of Portugal's energy demands are met by renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro.
12) Portugal is known to have the World's shortest reign as a monarch, when King Luis Filipe ruled Portugal for just 20 minutes.
13) Portugal became the sixth country in the World to legalise same sex marriage.
14) Portugal once ruled more than half the World when it was given the likes of Brazil, Asia & Africa, post the treaty of Tordesillas. While its boundaries may have shrunk, it continues to have deep cultural connections with several nations.