Each year at the Cathedral of Lisbon, sixteen couples celebrate their wedding together on the eve of St. Anthony’s Day, 12th June. These are the Santo António weddings. To be able to enroll, you must apply from January to March, and at least one of the bride and groom must be a resident of Lisbon.
For one day, they will be true stars, with an interview on television and in the newspapers and a parade through the streets of the city. And they receive the honeymoon offered by the city.
This event, of great importance for Lisbon, in 2008 commemorated its 50th anniversary. It was in 1958 that, for the first time, 26 couples were united by marriage in the Church of Santo António. The aim of the initiative was to make marriage possible for couples with greater financial difficulties.
After sixteen years of well-attended editions, the tradition was interrupted in the troubled year of 1974. Thirty years later, the Lisbon City Council recovered the Santo António Weddings with the same purpose of providing the union of sixteen couples in a memorable day for their families and for all Lisboners.
Today, the Weddings of Santo António constitute an unavoidable mark in the popular tradition of Lisbon, contributing, each year, to affirm the cultural identity of the City.