June is a festive month in Porto and the north of Portugal. The famous night of São João (St John) begins on June 23, with the streets and public squares decorated with small altars, garlands and sweet basil. This popular festivity - the biggest in the city of Oporto - animates the local population who play with the symbolic elements associated to this event, such as leeks and small toy hammers, in a giant festivity that goes on until dawn. The programme in honour of the Popular Saints is filled with music, the smell of traditional roasted sardines and caldo verde (potato and cabbage broth). The most important São João festivities are held in Oporto and Braga.
June 29 is the day of São Pedro (St Peter), and the fisherman in Afurada pay homage to him by means of religious ceremonies. The high point of the festivities is the procession, when life-sized statues of the saints are transported, followed by the faithful dressed in fishing clothes. The festivities are accompanied by fireworks and two essential items on the day's menu are roasted sardines and Broa de Avintes bread.
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