The Carnation Revolution: Celebrating Freedom During Lockdown

“I don’t think we did go blind,
I think we are blind,
Blind but seeing,
Blind people who can see,
but do not see.”
― José Saramago

Forty-six years ago, Portugal woke up to a revolution that became known as the Carnation Revolution. Dictatorship came to an end and so did censorship and colonial war.

We have been on lockdown for more than a month now, and today was a particularly emotional day. How do you celebrate freedom while being confined to your own house?

At 3 o’clock, our people came to their balconies and played the song that 46 years ago let everyone know that we were about to be set free.

I didn’t know about this ‘national arrangement’. I turned the news off a few days ago when I heard nonsensical comments from our government about national celebrations.

I was heading to my parents’ house when I heard the song echoing in every street. I started to cry through my mask as soon as I heard the marching sound of the song.

In that moment, we were all connected. We were all feeling the same. We were confined and yet we felt like rebels with a good cause: no one shall take our freedom away.

The Carnation Revolution

The Song


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