During this week in Porto or Oporto, as you may prefer to call it, is taking place the biggest event in the student community. Queima das Fitas, as it’s called, is an event fully destined to University and Polytechnic students with special emphasis in those who entered this year, known as “caloiros”, and those who are graduating, known as “finalistas”.
This event lasts for one week with several activities and special moments for all students and their family. It all starts with the Monumental Serenata at 00h01 on the 1st of May, in Avenida dos Aliados, where various groups of students sing Fado for the student community, their family and other people wanting to attend. This has over 100 students singing and over 55.000 people attending.
Later, in the same day at the same place, other big occasion is the Missa de Benção das Pastas, starting at 11h01, a mass for students graduating, taking place in Avenida de Aliados. This symbolic mass has the Porto’s bishop blessing the students soon to start working.
But, perhaps, the biggest occasion happens on the third day. The Cortejo (Parade) is the most relevant occasion in this calendar. It joins something like 90.000 students and an attendance of 500.000 people. Students from every University and Polytechnic walk through the city’s heart in a parade that lasts for 8h to 9h until every student walks past the Tribuna.
There are other activities but these are undoubtedly the most relevant and iconic, not only by the people participating but also by those attending.
Besides this activities destined for the student community, every day at nigh the Queima das Fitas assumes like a festival proportions. The Queimódromo is the place where the music and fun match, and where not only University and Polytechnic students are but also anyone who wants to attend. The doors open at 22h and 1h30 to 2h after starts the first of the two concerts happening every day. The concerts finish until the 2am, and then is “drinking time” in the barraquinhas for many until the doors close at 7-8 am.
This is a special week expected by every student and even for those that like to see the student and festive spirit. If it was not this special, not many people would want to see and participate.