Carnation Revolution

1974 revolution in Portugal

The Carnation Revolution, also known as the 25 April, was a coup on 25 April 1974 in Lisbon that overthrew the authoritarian Estado Novo regime,[1] this caused social, economic, territorial, demographic and political changes through 1974 to 1975. Carnation Revolution resulted in the Portuguese transition to democracy and the end of the Portuguese Colonial War.

Carnation Revolution
Part of the portuguese transition to democracy and the Cold War
Mural reading "25th of April always!", 1978
Date25 April 1974; 50 years ago (1974-04-25)
Caused by
MethodsCoup d'état
Resulted inAF Movement victory
Parties to the civil conflict

Armed Forces Movement

Lead figures
4 killed

The revolution began as a coup organised by the Armed Forces Movement, made up of military officers who opposed the dictatorship regime, they also joined forces with an popular civil resistance movements in Portuguese colonies. By the end of 1974, Portuguese troops were withdrawn from Portuguese Guinea, which became a UN member state. This was followed by the independence of many Portuguese colonies. These events caused a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's former territories (mostly from Angola and Mozambique), creating over a million Portuguese refugees.[2][3]

The carnation revolution got its name from the fact that almost no shots were fired and from restaurant worker Celeste Caeiro offering carnations to the soldiers when the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship, with other demonstrators following suit and carnations placed in the muzzles of guns and on the soldiers' uniforms.[4] In Portugal, 25 April is a national holiday (Portuguese: Dia da Liberdade, Freedom Day) that commemorates the revolution.


  1. "1974: Rebels seize control of Portugal", On This Day, 25 April, BBC, 25 April 1974, retrieved 2 January 2010
  2. "Flight from Angola". The Economist. 16 August 1975.
  3. "Dismantling the Portuguese Empire". Time. 7 July 1975.
  4. Association, Peter Booker, Algarve History. "Why April 25th is a holiday – the Carnation Revolution and the events of 1974". Retrieved 29 December 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)