The Portuguese participate in many cultural activities, indulging their appreciation of art, music, drama, and dance. Portugal has a rich traditional folklore (Ranchos Folclóricos), with great regional variety. Many cities and towns have a museum and a collection of ancient monuments and buildings. Many towns have at least a cinema, some venues to listen to music and locations to see arts and crafts. In the larger cities visits to the theatre, concerts or galleries of modern exhibitions are popular, and Portugal can boast not only international-scale venues in Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Guimarães and Coimbra but also many acclaimed artists from various disciplines. The importance of the arts is illustrated by the fact that on the death of Amália Rodrigues, the “Queen of Fado” (fado is Portugal’s national music) in October 1999, three days of national mourning was declared. In 1998, José Saramago, one of Portugal’s well-known writers, was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Lisbon (1994), Porto (2001) and Guimarães (2012) were all designated European Capitals of Culture, contributing to a current renaissance in artistic creation, and in 2004 Portugal hosted the European football finals in specially constructed stadiums.
In smaller towns and villages, cultural activity may revolve around local folklore, with musical groups performing traditional dance and song. Local festivities are very popular during the summer season in all kinds of localities ranging from villages to cities, as well as beach holidays from July to September. Portuguese people in almost all major towns and the cities like to know their places which are generally well equipped with modern facilities and offer a wide variety of attractions ranging from shops and stores of the most renowned brands to cinemas, restaurants and hypermarkets. Café culture is also regarded as an important cultural feature of the Portuguese. As the most popular sport, football events involving major Portuguese teams are always widely followed with great enthusiasm. There are a number of bullrings in Portugal, although the passion for bullfighting varies from region to region.