Shrove Tuesday in Portugal

You’ll hear much about Loulé having the oldest carnaval in the Algarve, in fact I even said that myself in Monday’s carnaval post. However I have discovered today that in fact Moncarapacho has the oldest carnaval. dating back 119 years.

Originally everyone walked, then there were mules and in 1913 the first motorised vehicle appeared. Now of course it is a combination of floats pulled by tractors and revellers on foot. There were apparently 15 floats today and around 500 participants, quite extraordinary for a small town of around 5,000 residents.

Now you also follow Restless Jo you may remember her mentioning the Moncarapacho carnaval last year. We were far more fortunate than Jo though as she had rain, and as you can see we had brilliant sunshine. There was a cold wind though, which both we and the participants noticed!

By the way did anyone spot and recognise the police car in the second gallery. Same one as seen in São Brás de Alportel on Sunday, and they were not the only one who had decided to join in with the fun today in Moncarapacho. See if you can spot them later on! Talking of spotting things, there is something in the next gallery especially for Anabel. Here’s a hint it is my way of wishing everyone a very Happy International #bookgivingday for tomorrow!

Moncarapacho’s carnaval is known as the ‘Battle of Flowers’. There are no longer any battles but every float was covered in paper flowers. The amount of work that has gone into these is quite extraordinary. For more information on some of the amazing volunteers who create these masterpieces, check out this article.

The carnaval began shortly after 3pm and it takes about an hour for every float to go past, but it doesn’t stop there. They keep going until after 5pm, and then there is the dancing. So you can follow a favourite float, move to a different spot as they continually go around the village or if you want simply turn up later. It’s your carnaval so you do what works best for you, but note parking does become more awkward the later you leave it!

I cannot do justice to the work of Dona Maria Isménia and the other volunteers who created the floats in one post, so I am going to prepare a second for us one day soon. For now though let me finish with the medley of short videos I mentioned, and don’t forget to look for the lovely group from São Brás de Alportel.


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It's a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, reading, blogging, and best of all spending time with family, friends & the cat!

17 thoughts on “Shrove Tuesday in Portugal


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