On Monday, June 5th, the Azorean people celebrate the – ‘Day of the Azores’ – a public holiday established in 1980, dedicated to honor Azorean self-rule as granted in the Portuguese Constitution of 1976, following the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974.
Designated ‘Dia da Região Autónoma dos Açores’ (Day of the Autonomous Region of the Azores), the holiday also honor the historical, cultural and social affirmation of the Azorean people.
The celebrations do not always occur on the same date each year. The date is movable to coincide with the first Monday following the Sunday of Pentecost, which sets the beginning the Azorean traditional Holy Ghost Festival cycle.
Presided by the President of the Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro, this year the President of Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, participates in the celebrations as the guest of honor.
One of the highlights of the event is the bestowing of honors to distinguished Azorean personalities and institutions who have contributed to the wellbeing of the Azores and its people. This year, 30 personalities and 12 institutions will be honored during solemn ceremony to be held at the Legislative Assembly of the Government of the Azores, in Horta city, on Faial island.
The ‘Day of the Azores’ is always marked by various festivities held on all the nine islands of the Azorean Archipelago.
The list of personalities and institutions distinguished this year :
Commendation of Recognition
- Aníbal Duarte Raposo
- Diniz Aurélio Lourenço Borges
- Horácio Teixeira de Medeiros Franco (posthumously)
- Luís Alberto Medeiros Bettencourt
- Luís Manuel Ribeiro da Rocha Monteiro (posthumously)
- Manuel Urbano Bettencourt Machado
- Marcolino Candeias Coelho Lopes (posthumously)
Commendations of Merit
- Carlos Eduardo Pereira Duarte
- Duarte Manuel Pacheco Pimentel
- José Carlos de Magalhães Cymbron
- Luís Costa da Rosa Bruno (posthumously)
- Ramiro Gaspar de Lima (posthumously)
Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural Merit
- Caixa Económica da Misericórdia de Angra do Heroísmo
- Fernando Dutra de Sousa
- Maria Evelina de Sousa (posthumously)
- Masatoshi Ohi
- Óscar Patrício da Rocha
- Alpendre, Grupo de Teatro
- Associação de Socorros Mútuos de Ponta Delgada
- Casa do Povo de Rabo de Peixe
- Clube Naval da Horta
- Escola Regional de Artesanato de Santo Amaro do Pico
- Grupo de Baile da Canção Regional Terceirense
- Grupo Etnográfico da Beira
- Instituto Histórico da Ilha Terceira
- Mãe de Deus, Associação de Solidariedade Social
- Sociedade Filarmónica Artista Faialense
- João António Santos Sequeira (posthumously)
- João Manuel Pereira Forjaz Sampaio
- Luís Davide Toste Diniz
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, 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. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.