So, the Carnation Revolution.. otherwise known as ‘Freedom Day’.
Portuguese people know all about it, but I would wager few outside of the country do. A quick history lesson:
The Carnation Revolution was a military coup in the capital, Lisboa which began on April 25th 1974 to overthrow the regime of the Estado Novo (authoritarian). Along with a civil resistance movement , officers from the Movimento das Forcas Armadas who opposed the regime the regime led to the fall of the government and the withdrawal of Portugal from it’s African colonies.
The name “Carnation Revolution” comes from the fact no shots were fired and when the population started descending the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and war in the colonies, carnation flowers were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army. The Portuguese celebrate the national holiday of Freedom Day on 25 April every year to celebrate the revolution.
So, that’s our history lesson over!
Annemarie’s last night and Freedom Day almost coincided, so we decided to have a big BBQ! I made Freedom Day bunting (but forgot to take a picture, sorry!) to help decorate the garden.
We all ate lots of good BBQ food, drank good wine and even tried this herbal liquor gifted to us by a University Orchestra from Dusseldorf (it was best when mixed with lemonade). As with most hostels, we had a good few musically talented guests staying with us that week which led to a post-dinner jam session!
3 guitars, a violin, a djembe, spoons, forks, and several half filled glasses later we’d sung and played our hearts out whilst getting, I’ll be honest, fairly drunk. It’s funny how the more alcohol you drink, the better you think you are at doing certain things (singing [unfortunately] included).
Post BBQ we headed out to the infamous Bairro Alto (a warren of smalls streets full of bars where you mostly drink outside). We went straight to 89 where we got free shots, followed by some pretty delicious mojitos!
On the topic of cocktails and Bairro Alto.. if you’re ever there find 89, it has cheap beers, good cocktails and reasonably priced shots. Also, on the same street there’s a bar that does pint cocktails for 4 euros (yes, you heard me right FOUR). I forget the name but it’s pretty easy to find.
No bartender I’ve seen here so far seems to measure the amount of alcohol they put into cocktails.. as a result you usually end up with a healthy measure of rum your mojito or caprihinia.
And that’s it for this post!
We were all very sad to see Annemarie go, but she’s having a brilliant time touring Europe and she’s still in touch 🙂
I forgot to mention, we also all did henna tattoos on each other. I’ll post pictures of the day below.