“Even the Moors of the Moorish celebrate St. John.” It is not known with accuracy when it began the feast of St. John of Porto. It is known by the XIV century records of Fernão Lopes, that by that time have moved to Porto to prepare the visit of the King, and having arrived in St. John’s Eve, left written in the Chronicle that it was the day of Porto big celebration, describing it and how it was lived by the people of the city. The Saint John of Port is a popular festival which takes place from the 23rd to the 24th June in Porto. Officially, it is a Catholic festival that celebrates the birth of St. John the Baptist, which focuses on mass and procession of Saint John on June 24, but the feast of Saint John comes from the solstice of June and initially it was a pagan feast. Fertility was celebrated associated with the joy of good harvest and abundance. This is a party full of traditions, of which stand out the cascades, the leeks, the branches of lemongrass and verbena and the release of hot air balloons. There are also the traditional jumping over bonfires throughout the city, usually in the more traditional neighborhoods; the basil vases with popular verses are a constant presence in this great party as well as the traditional midnight fireworks, along the Douro River and D. Luis bridge. Besides all this, there are several popular folk festivals throughout the city of Porto especially in the neighborhoods of Fontainhas, Miragaia, Massarelos, among others, always accompanied by grilled sardines. The party lasts until dawn, which is why it is known as “the longest night of the year” in the city of Porto. Have a great São João… !!!!!