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A First of May celebration in Portugal

I unwittingly happened to be in Portugal to coincide with the 25 April celebrations. For us Italians, 25 April is the date of liberation from the Nazi-fascists in 1945. For the Portuguese, however, 25 April 1974 is the date of the Carnation Revolution, which ended Salazar’s fascist dictatorship.

Unaware of this, but equally happy, I found myself on 1 May in Barcelos, northern Portugal, where Workers’ Day coincides with a traditional procession for the Feast of the Crosses and a joyous ‘Battle of the Flowers’. All of this coincidence of festivities generated a day of great joy, full of smiles and colour, and, finally, with a streak of nostalgia for long ago promises and hopes that seem far away.

Getting ready for the parade. Barcelos (PT) 1/5/2024

Parade float are welcomed with carnations.Barcelos (PT) 1/5/2024

Fake guns remembering the 5th of April revolution, Barcelos, 1/5/2024
Thousands of flowers are thrown in the air from and to the floats. Barcelos, 1/5/2024
The battle of flowers. Barcelos, 1/5/2024
Uniforms, carnations and flags. Barcelos, 1/5/2024
Hundreds of partecipants in the parade. Barcelos, 1/5/2024
Band of bagpipes in the main square. Barcelos, 1/5/2024
And then the celebration ends, like everything, with melancholy.
And then the celebration ends, like everything, with melancholy.
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Ruggero Passeri

I was born in Rome in 1950. Self-taught photographer, I begun to use a camera when I was 13. I exhibited my photos for… More »

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