It only takes place on Sunday, is traditional and is almost on our doorstep, so it wasn’t a hard decision which carnaval to join yesterday even though it was our third year of attendance. Or perhaps that was the reason why! We have fallen in love with so many of the characters we couldn’t wait to see what they had created this year in São Brás de Alportel, and they didn’t disappoint!
As usual the start time of 3pm was a suggestion rather than an actual time. So we were not surprised when we arrived about quarter past to still see the revellers gathering and practising their moves in the back streets. By the time we arrived on on Avenida do Carnava (usually known as Avenida da Liberdad) there was quite a crowd, but still no parade. Wasn’t long though before the music started and the parade had begun.
You may recall from our very first year that one of my absolute delights is that this is a carnival on a loop. You don’t have to worry about missing anything as they will come around again, and again! This year they also began at both ends of the loop, which meant both sides and ends of the avenue got to join in the fun right at the start. For a short while I even hoped it would be mean less frequent pauses and smaller gaps, however I should know better. Even the participants bring their own chairs and refreshments!
We weren’t surprise to see the crusaders, it is a common theme. They did though have a very impressive castle, and a stunning group of Moors. And their band was fabulous.
I was though intrigued by the number of bakers. There were two groups, busy baking bread in their ovens. If you were lucky bread was handed over, if you were unlucky it was thrown at you!
I was also rather taken with the group from the Tirol with their hut covered in paper flowers and with a working chimney! We had spotted some of them earlier in the backstreets. Clearly though quite a few had a long way to travel as they didn’t appear in the actual parade until the second loop round.
And they were not the only ones who were late, there was a couple who were completely lost despite their maps, magnifying glasses and advice from a fellow reveller.
And then there were the group with scary horns and the military. The latter were definitely not scary, they were in giggles most of the time. They also seemed to stop frequently!
The Carnaval de São Brás de Alportel is such great fun. As you might expect from a Portuguese carnival there is plenty of satire, social commentary, political statements, music and dancing. There are also quite a few completely random moments. Every age takes part, and I mean every age! The youngest we spotted was in a pram and the oldest well I’ll leave it to you to decide. Just take a look at these twenty four fabulous moments.
We had such fun yesterday. I can’t wait to see what takes place in Moncarapacho on Shrove Tuesday itself. Fingers crossed though that the weather holds. Very low cloud and drizzle today, much needed I know the rain but I am hoping it will stay dry tomorrow for all the revellers and us! I’ll keep you posted, for now though I’ll leave you with another short video celebrating all that is fabulous about carnaval!