The Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos or Revolução de 25 de Abril) describes the peaceful overthrow of the authoritarian dictatorship of the Estado Novo (New State) under António de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal on April 25, 1974. On the late evening of April 24, 1974, Portuguese radio had broadcast the song Depois Do Adeus (And After the Farewell) by Paulo de Carvalho, which was the signal to begin the revolution against the fascist regime of Caetano. Then, shortly after midnight, a radio host of Rádio Renascença read out the first verse of the song Grândola, Vila Morena by the singer José Afonso, which at the time was banned by the regime: this was the signal for the left-wing military officers of the conspiracy Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA, Armed Forces Movement) to overthrow the government by military coup. Within a few hours, they had occupied the strategically vital centers of Portugal, which paved the way for Caetano to stand down. The almost entirely peaceful coup brought to an end to the almost forty year old dictatorship, and the protracted colonial war in Africa.
The name Carnation Revolution derives from the red carnations, which Portugal’s citizens in their euphoria about the events stuck into the barrels of the revolutionary soldiers’ guns and with which they decorated the tanks. Since then, the political revolution is celebrated each year on April 25 with red carnations.