Senhor de Matosinhos 2024

May 9, 2024

As the year 2024 approaches May 10th, preparations begin for one of the most significant festivals of the year: the Festivities of the Lord of Matosinhos (Festas do Senhor de Matosinhos). But before delving into the importance of this festivity for the city and its population, let’s take a brief look at Matosinhos and its ancient history.

View of Castelo do Queijo fortress with the ocean in Matosinhos

Experience the breathtaking view of Castelo do Queijo overlooking the ocean in Matosinhos

Matosinhos has evidence of human activity dating back several thousand years, found on ancient and current beaches. People began settling in this region around 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period, leaving faint traces of monuments built during that time. By around 1000 BCE, a new type of habitat emerged, along with its own unique culture, which lasted until the 1st century and was prevalent throughout the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Integration into the Roman Empire brought significant structural changes, such as the opening of various access routes, including the famous Cale-Bracara Augusta road, and the construction of the Stone Bridge. During the High Middle Ages (approximately 11th to 14th centuries), this area saw the founding of monasteries and convents, such as the Monastery of Bouças and the Monastery of Leça do Balio, dating back to the 10th century. These institutions became the original seat of the Military Order of the Knights Hospitallers in Portugal during the 12th century.

In the year 1514, D. Manuel I granted a charter that turned the area into an important agricultural and livestock production center. Over time, it grew and expanded to become a seafaring reference, leading to the construction of one of the country’s most important ports – the Port of Leixões. The city’s strength and national benchmark status came from its sardine fishing and canning industries. These traditions and heritage are all celebrated in the Festivities of the Lord of Matosinhos. This celebration, full of symbolism, has been repeated for centuries and is one of the highlights of the pilgrimages in the north of the country. To boost this event and make it thrive, Matosinhos has become more accessible over the years, adding new dynamics and layers to the festivities.

The Festivities of the Lord of Matosinhos take place during May and June, beginning on May 10th and ending on June 2nd, lasting almost three weeks. The festival includes a wide range of recreational, cultural, and sporting activities for everyone to enjoy. For instance, there are traditional processions, music and dance performances, art exhibitions, and various sports events. For fireworks enthusiasts, this festival is one of the biggest pyrotechnic shows in the country, with more than half a million fireworks lighting up the night sky. It’s an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.

Poster of Senhor de Matosinhos 2024 with vibrant colors and festive decorations

Festivities of Senhor de Matosinhos 2024! A celebration of tradition, culture, and joy

Highlights of Festa de Matosinhos 2024:

- Friday, May 10th: Marcha dos Bonecos (March of the Puppets) at 7 pm, followed by the inauguration of the Festivities’ illumination at 9 pm, and a live performance by Zé Barbosa and Duo Contakto at 9.30 pm. The Marcha dos Bonecos show will be repeated on the 11th and 12th of May at the same time.
- Friday, May 17th: Live Performance by Diogo Piçarra at 10 pm in the gardens of Biblioteca Municipal Florbela Espanca.
- Saturday, May 18th: Fireworks of Senhor de Matosinhos 2024.
- Tuesday, May 21st: Fogo dos Bonecos (Fire Puppets) at 7 pm. This show represents a 19th-century tradition in Matosinhos and will take place in the gardens of Park 25 de Abril.
- Sunday, June 2nd: The festivities of Senhor de Matosinhos 2024 will end with a Festival of Folklore at 3.30 pm.