Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Carnation Revolution

The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução dos Cravos or 25 de Abril) was a bloodless left-leaning revolution started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, that effectively changed the Portuguese regime from a fascist dictatorship to a liberal democracy in the end of a two-year process.

"Bloodless" must be qualified however: the governmental forces killed four people before surrendering. However, this revolution is peculiar in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals.

April 25 is one of the major holidays in Portugal, usually a day of celebration and joy, though some right-wing sectors of population still regard the developments after the coup d'état as pernicious for the country.

Carnation is the symbol of this revolution, since soldiers put these flowers in their guns, in what came to symbolise the absence of violence for changing the regime in Portugal - a regime that had been one of the longest dictatorships of the 20th century.