Carnival in Portugal: ‘Life lasts for two days, carnival lasts for three!’

It’s carnaval here in Portugal, which means lots of fun, music and intriguing and long lasting celebrations, as the Portuguese saying goes, ‘A vida são dois dias, o Carnaval são três!’ (Life lasts for two days, carnival lasts for three!). We are going to have such fun over the next few days as we attend some of the Algarvian ones. And the fun is not just happening here in the Algarve.

In the north of Portugal look out for the masked men in Podence who dress in costumes of red, green and yellow wool, with cowbells and wooden stick, or if you are in Lazarim (Duoro region) watch out for the men who wear enormous and frightening carved wooden masks often with horns coming from the top!

If you are near Lisbon then the one to head for is the ‘o Carnaval mais português de Portugal’ in Torres Vedras, which sounds amazing. And if you are feeling brave you might want to head for Canas de Senhorim, where insults are happily traded between neighbours!

I discovered these and much much more from Portugal Up Close’s fabulous post on these unique and varied celebrations. Apparently;

Many of the celebrations originate from pagan times when it was believed that at the end of the winter evil spirits needed to be driven out so that spring could return and carnival was a celebration to drive out these spirits and herald a return to fertility.

To find out more (& to leave comments) I really hope you will continue reading via Carnival in Portugal: ‘Life lasts for two days, carnival lasts for three!’ as Portugal Up Close has included lots of information on other carnivals as well as some great videos of the ones I have mentioned. Huge thanks again to Sandra for allowing me to re-blog part of it here.

PS The photos in this post I took last year. This year’s carnaval photographs will hopefully be following later this week in multiple posts.

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