Queima das Fitas Porto 2024

May 2, 2024

Portugal is widely recognized as the oldest nation-state in Europe, with origins dating back to 1143. During the following century, in 1290, King Dinis founded the University of Coimbra, which is not only the oldest university in Portugal but also one of the oldest in the world. From that point on, other universities emerged throughout the country, including the prestigious University of Porto, which is considered one of the best public education institutions in Europe, ranked among the top 100 universities in Europe and the top 350 in the world.

As an institution that has been around for over a century, established in 1911, and still thriving today, several things set it apart from other universities. One such feature is the traditions that have become integral to the university, giving it a unique character and making it well-known. Let’s explore some of these traditions, leading up to the highly anticipated Ribbon Burning (or Queima das Fitas), that all university students look forward to.

Students in traditional academic attire, wearing yellow hats and holding sticks, celebrate at Queima das Fitas in Porto

Students adorned in traditional academic attire, including yellow hats and sticks, participate in the lively festivities of Queima das Fitas, a cherished tradition in Portuguese universities

One distinctive aspect that sets our universities apart is the academic dress, which varies from university to university. This dress dates back to the University of Coimbra, and it was created to standardize and distinguish the academic community, eliminating any social stratification among academics.

Academic “praxe” refers to a series of practices that aim to welcome and integrate new students. These practices are governed by codes approved by select groups within the student community. When done properly, academic “praxe” can help integrate new students by allowing them to get to know older students who can assist them throughout their academic journey. It also helps them build closer relationships with their colleagues from the same year.

During the Ribbon Burning week (Queima das Fitas), the academic procession is a major highlight and attracts a lot of tourists. The finalists, dressed in top hats, walking sticks, and satchels with ribbons in their course color, parade through the streets of the city along with their classmates, who are either dressed formally or wearing their course t-shirts. All courses have their parade floats decorated with their course colors.

And finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for: the Burning of the Ribbons (Queima das Fitas). This academic tradition is a week-long festival that takes place every year during May. It takes place between May 4th and 11th, at the usual venue, the Queimódromo, and features the Irish rock band The Script and numerous nationally renowned artists, such as Quim Barreiros, Rosinha, Fernando Daniel, Bárbara Bandeira, Richie Campbell, Dillaz, Wet Bed Gang, among others.