The academic week has come to town! A tradition, that started in 1919, still keeps going to this day and the largest academic festival attracts not only students but all the visitors of Porto every year. Queima das Fitas is a major event in the first week of May, before the beginning of the study period preceding the school year’s last exams, organized by Academic Federation of Porto – Federação Académica do Porto (FAP) this event offers various activities, that can meet everyone’s needs, and, the best part – Queima das Fitas is on for a whole week! The event comprehends 12 events, starting with the Monumental Serenata on Sunday, reaching its peak with the Cortejo Académico on Tuesday, when students from the universities and other higher education institutions of the city march through the downtown streets till they reach the city hall, where they’re greeted (and greet back) by the Mayor. During every night of the week a series of concerts takes place on the Queimódromo, next to the city’s park; here it’s also a tradition for the students in the second last year to erect small tents where alcoholic beverages are sold in order to finance the trip that takes place during the last year of their course.
During the parade through the city, different year students wear and play different parts: – the graduates (the last year students) wear a top-hat and a walking-cane, both the colour of their Faculty; – the sophomores (second year students) wear the traditional costume with their capes fully crossed; – the freshmen (who after being greeted by the Mayor become sophomores) wear funny/silly outfits (usually with carnival props related to baby-costumes) the same colour as their Faculty, sing songs as loud as they can, do some sort of group dances, usually get hazed a little bit, and when they get to the Town Hall have to crawl on their hands and feet to walk by the Mayor.
Queima das Fitas week attracts around 350,000 visitors to Porto and presents a unique opportunity to experience the city from a different perspective, while the non-stop party atmosphere also makes it a great time to discover nightly Porto.