A Carnival party you will either love or hate

Deep in the North of Portugal, traditions are still being kept and this is one of the oldest. From 10th to 13th February, some of the bachelors of Podence, also known as the Caretos of Podence, take over the village and distribute mischieve everywhere they go. If you want to discover one of Portugal’s oldest traditions this really is a party you should try to be part of.

10 facts you didn’t know about Caretos of Podence

1. This is a Celtic tradition which has been going for hundreds of years.

Carnival Podence

2. Caretos usually appear when you least expect.

Carnival in Portugal 2018

3. They walk in groups.

Carnival Podence

4. They’re totally unpredictable.

Head Caretos

5. They whistle and shake their bell rattles while they spread mayhem around the village.

chocalho podence

6. “Robbing” people’s wineries, tricking the unsuspected, shaking single girls, are some of the things they love to do.

7. In the past, Caretos would throw ash and manure to people as well as whip people with pig bladders but don’t worry, these days they are very tame.

Carnival Party

8. Their faces are a representation of the devil.

Mask Podence

9. At the end of the three days, two giant effigies will go up in flames, not before the “marriages” between some of the single people in the village.

10. Back in the day, Caretos would break down doors in order to get to the single girls and shake them. Single girls would either have to hide or dress as matrafonas the only people exempt from the Caretos passion.

Where to stay:

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Casa do Avô César: A rustic and comfy accommodation a mere 10 km away from Podence.

 

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Casas de Campo da Quinta Entre os Rios: You can instead choose to stay in a traditional house in Mirandela, a city known for its cuisine (try the alheiras), and beautiful landscapes.

 

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Quinta Rota d’Oliveira: Stay in the countryside, in a 17-century house, completely renovated, and with the most idyllic views around you.

More info:

Discover the whole party program here.

 

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