UNION, NJ – The Portuguese American Civic Association of Union held their flag raising ceremony on Wednesday night in front of Town Hall in celebration of the upcoming Portugal Day.
P.A.C.A. President George Esteves said Portugal Day is celebrated on June 10 in honor of national literary icon Luis de Camões. Esteves said Union will celebrate Portugal Day this coming weekend at the festival at the P.A.C.A. location on Rahway Avenue.
“This date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luis de Camoes,” said Esteves. “His birthdate is not known, so his date of death on June 10, 1580, is celebrated."
Union Mayor Suzette Cavadas, a Portuguese-American, said Portugal Day is a celebration of Camões, an adventurer who lost one eye fighting in Ceuta. Camões wrote his famous poem while traveling, and survived a shipwreck in Cochinchina (a region of present-day Vietnam). “According to popular folklore, Camões saved his epic poem by swimming with one arm while keeping the other arm above water. Since his date of birth is unknown, his date of death is celebrated as Portugal's National Day.”
“Millions of Americans are proud of their Portuguese heritage, like myself,” said Cavadas, “and millions more are enriched by living in neighborhoods and communities defined by the dynamic presence of the Portuguese-American.”
The P.A.C.A. Rancho Infantil youth group performed ‘Regacinho’, ‘Esta Aqui’, and ‘Rosa Arnedonde a Sala’.
The adult folklore group ‘Danca Na Eira’ of Newark played ‘recordacoes de Alem Rar’, ‘Vira de 8’, ‘cana verde dos Galos’, and ‘Cana verde da dança na Eira’.