25 APRIL 2018

dia de liberdade

Today is Dia de Liberdade and a public holiday across the whole of Portugal. This is the day that commemorates the 1974 military coup, which was the start of the revolution that resulted in increased civil liberties and political freedom.

The revolution is often referred to as the Carnation Revolution because carnations were placed in the muzzles of the guns of the soldiers and the whole revolution passed with no blood shed, though a few shots were fired.

The celebration of 25 April marks the end of a four decade long dictatorship, the ‘Estado Novo’ and eventually the introduction of a democratic government.

There were two pieces of music used on the radio to signify the beginning of the coup. The first was Portugal’s entry into the 1974 Eurovision song contest, ‘E Depois do Adeus’ and the second, ‘Grândola, Vila Morena’ by an influential folk and political artist, Zeca Afonso and was actually banned at the time of broadcast. These two records were used to alert the rebel captains that the revolution was underway and to take over the strategic points of power.

Did you know that the previous month there had been another attempt at a coup, and it started from the barracks just outside Caldas da Rainha? It took another month to finally launch the successful revolution.