Oporto Ribbon Burning
The Burning of the Ribbons is the highlight of the academic year in Porto. For a week in May, university students celebrate the important moments in their lives - some have just made it into university, others are no longer freshmen, others are finalists. Wearing characteristic black suits and capes, they proudly display the insignias and colours of the institutions where they study. The Monumental Serenade - a concert by the Porto Academy's groups of Fado, the Mass Blessing of Portfolios - a religious ceremony in which the finalists ask for God's blessing into the new stage of their life - the Nights of the Burnings; this is a festival that is open to the city, with concerts and food and drink stalls - and the Academic Procession - in which the university students roam the city streets on foot or parade in floats chanting and filling the city with colour - all of these are highlights of the week.