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Remains of authentic Portuguese traditional Carnival

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

In some remote places, the traditional Portuguese Carnival is still alive.

Traditional Carnival masks in Portugal
Carnival masks in Lazarim, Portugal

Devilish, frowning, with pointed ears, beards or mustaches, with "horns" and even imitating animals, the genuine Lazarim masks are an ancestral tradition yearly back on the streets of this small village of Lamego county for a unique presentation of ancient staging of Portuguese culture. Thousands of visitors are expected again to see closely the carvings carved in alder wood, the result of meticulous work by local artisans, willing to preserve the historical memory of their people.

Caretos: traditional carnival masks in Portugal
Caretos: traditional carnival masks in Portugal

The highlight of the Lazarim Carnival is undoubtedly the reading of the wills of comadre and compadre on Carnival Tuesday. At this point the ears of the most sensitive are shut off, for it is time for the truths kept throughout the year to be heard, a mission by two young men dressed in black who, unrolling their tongues, criticize the boys and girls. from the earth. But, as a rule of thumb, only singles can criticize and be mocked.

After the wills are pronounced, space to hold a procession to the place where the couple, represented by dolls, is symbolically burned. Today these two puppets are pyrotechnic pieces that dance and burst. Another curious aspect of these wills is the attribution of donkey body parts to the one being satirized. In the end, to close the celebrations of the Entrudo is offered broth and feijoada to all present, to the sound of intense musical animation.

Lazarim Carnival remains the symbol of the feeling and popular art of this village, always respecting the authenticity and tradition.

Locals playing in the Carnival, at Lazarim, Portugal
Locals playing in the Carnival, at Lazarim, Portugal

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