Portuguese American Journal

Azores Day: Azoreans celebrating self-rule and regional pride – June 9th

This year the Azores Day will be celebrated on Monday June 9, a public holiday dedicated to the affirmation of Azorean self-rule as granted in the Portuguese Constitution following the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974.

Established in 1980, as Dia da Região Autónoma dos Açores (Day of the Autonomous Region of the Azores), the holiday also celebrates the historical, cultural and social affirmation of the Azorean people.

The holiday is movable to coincide with the first Monday following the Sunday of Pentecost, which sets the beginning the Azorean traditional Holy Ghost festivities cycle.

Presided by the President of the Government of the Azores, the official celebrations of the Azores Day take place each year on a different island, with various festivities throughout the nine islands of the Azorean archipelago.  This year the Azores Day will be officially celebrated in Vila do Nordeste on São Miguel island.

One of the highlights of the celebrations is the bestowing of honors by to notable Azoreans personalities and institutions. This year 27 honorees will be recognized for their individual achievements and their contributions to the community.

The Azores (population 250,000) became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal.

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General Information on the Azores – Official Name: Autonomous Region of the Azores; Number of Islands: 9 main islands; Capital: Ponta Delgada; Area: 2314 km2; Population: 241,700 inhabitants (2004); Population density: 106 inhabitants/km²; GDP/inhabitant: 17 800€ (2005); Climate: humid, maritime sub-tropical; Economic activities: agriculture, fisheries and tourism; Official language: Portuguese; Status: Portuguese Autonomous Region, EU Outermost Region (OR);

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