Carnival in a different way in Portugal

When I came to live in Portugal, the first Carnival here was a light shock for me. Accustomed to more, let’s say, pagan Carnival traditions in my native country, to see little Rio de Janeiros all around me, was a little bit strange.

It was like that until one year, when we went to the village of Podence, situated in Northeast of Portugal, in the region of my beloved Trás-os-Montes.

There, I saw Carnival traditions becoming closer to my native country’s. The Carnival of Podence, and in Trás-os-Montes in general, is very different from the rest of Carnivals in the country.

It turned even more special than last year (2019) it was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The celebration usually takes around 4 days, starting on the weekend and ending during Carnival’s day.

You can see village men, and boys, dressed as “caretos” running through the village’s streets. The dressed men are with masks and bouncy bells all around their bodies. They like to mess with the ladies in the streets jumping all around them.

During the Carnival in Podence you’ll meet a lot of people taking pictures of “caretos” (like us) and you can try traditional food in the food market.

In 2020 the Carnival in Podence will take place from the 22nd. to 25th. of February. You can check out the full programme here.

However, the programme is in Portuguese. If you need a help with translation, drop us a line.

Me and one of the “caretos”.

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