The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução dos Cravos), also referred to as the 25 April (Portuguese: 25 de Abril), was initially a military coup in Lisbon, Portugal, on 25 April 1974 which overthrew the regime of the Estado Novo.
The name "Carnation Revolution" comes from the fact that almost no shots were fired and when the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and war in the colonies, carnations were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army men. In Portugal, the 25th of April is a national holiday, known as Freedom Day (Portuguese: Dia da Liberdade), to celebrate the event.
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- Esta é a madrugada que eu esperava
O dia inicial inteiro e limpo
Onde emergimos da noite e do silêncio
E livres habitamos a substância do tempo
- In Portugal in April 1974, before the liberals in the army turned on the oldest Fascist dictatorship in Europe and broke open all the literal and metaphorical prison gates, there had been only one legal party. On May Day of that year, the Socialist and Communist Parties were able to fill the streets of the capital city. Within days, a conservative and a liberal party had been announced, and within a very short time Portugal was, so to say, a “normal” European country. Those parties, with their very seasoned leaders, had been there all along. All that was required was for the brittle carapace of the ancien régime to be shattered.
- Encyclopedic article on Carnation Revolution on Wikipedia