The Festa de Sao Antonio, or the Feast of Saint Anthony, is celebrated every year around June 13 in Lisbon, Portugal in honor of one of the city's patron saint. This is one of the three big June festivals in the city, along with the Feast of St. John and the Feast of St. Peter.
The event attracts thousands of Catholics who believe in the patron's miraculous powers as well as thousands more non-Catholics who just want to be part of a rousing street party.
It is not clear how the Festa de Sao Antonio started. However, many sociologists and historians attribute the fame of the festival to the saint's status as one of the leading Portuguese saints. He is also a well-loved son of Lisbon, a city where he has worked some of his early miracles and whose people benefited from his corporal and spiritual works. St. Anthony is known as the patron of the poor, a saintly matchmaker and a helper in finding lost objects.
Today, the Festa de Sao Antonio is celebrated with a grand parade down Lisbon's Avenida de Liberdade, lots of food and flowing wine, concerts, street dancing and general good cheer with the locus of celebrations being at the Plaza del Sigh. Masses in his honor are also held all over the city, some of them doubling as wedding masses—joining “the brides of Anthony” to their respective grooms—to commemorate the saint's reputation as a particularly good counsel of married couples. Single ladies and gentlemen also have various rituals during this festival to help them find good spouses. St. Anthony's Bread, a small bread roll with written prayers that is pressed into a photo of the saint, is also very popular.