For its national holiday, Portugal has selected the birthday of Luis Vaz de Camões, the poet who wrote Os Lusíadas, the national epic celebrating the voyages of discovery. Like many great artists, Camões struggled financially during his lifetime but has emerged over history as a singular focus of cultural celebration. You’ll find statutes of him all over the world, wherever Portuguese explorers and settlers have made their mark.
Other nations celebrate poets who made monumental contributions to their culture — England’s William Shakespeare and Italy’s Dante Alighieri, among others — but I know of no other people who make such a commemoration with their national holiday. This bit of uniqueness is beautiful and distinctive and worth commemorating.
Happy Portugal Day!