The Portugal Carnival is an annual event that has everyone is talking about. The Portuguese carnival is a fun and joyfull 3 day period (Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday) . This is the perfect time to mingle with locals and preach some pranks.

In Portugal we have a sain for pranks and people accept it as a Carnival thing. It ´means more or less the following. 

"Its not personal, it's just Carnival"

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You can take in the culture and have a blast. The carnival is a great place to stop if you are visiting the area or makes a nice destination all on its own.Carnival is all about music, dancing and, of course, the costumes. The elaborate costumes of carnival are something to behold. Many people spend months preparing their costumes for the celebration. From feathers to metal to sequins, you will see it all. Portuguese take carnival very seriously. They will be meticulous in preparing their costumes and they are focused on ensuring every detail is perfected. Carnival may be all about fun, but the preparation is hard work. Here's a glance about our Carnival from North to South.

Torres Vedras

What to visit in Torres Vedras

Torres Vedras carnival maintains a strong traditional component, constituted by 13 large-scale allegorical floats, groups of masked revellers, typical figures wearing large carved heads, giant figures, and Zés Pereiras drumming groups, with traditional drums and bagpipes.  The Carnival Kings, both of whom are male, are normally personalities from the region. The two kings are accompanied by a court of caricature ministers and “Matrafonas (“grotesque matrons”) and also a caricature of the Royal guard. 

Mealhada

Portugal Carnival

In Mealhada, the elders still remember the Carnival, the masked raids and street games, the dances and also the anonymous letters with declarations of love and social criticism.

There was also the "Feast of the Rooster", on Sunday, a parade of students from each class to their teachers' homes. They used to carry the rooster in a wheelbarrow decorated with streamers and mimosas.

Sesimbra

Carnival in Sesimbra

Carnival feast enjoys a great tradition in Sesimbra, not only due to the satirical rituals (“cegadas” and “cavalhadas”), but also to the night balls organised by several associations from the beginning of the 19th century. After the 25th April Revolution, the “organised carnival” was born, as a result of an agreement between the groups that attended the balls. Later emerged the first samba schools that parade on Carnival Tuesday along coastline avenue.

These schools tackle social themes and problems on their “sambas de enredo” (plot sambas) using a critical language. Cultural and social associations were created to organise these parades, standing out as meeting points for young people and others, who learn there to play music and to dance. Sesimbra Carnival is increasingly becoming one of the most significant cultural and social moments in the council, not only in terms of leisure, but also of social cohesion. 

Estarreja

Estarreja carnival was born in the 19th century. Local families sponsored the Flower Battle, as well as the carnival cars. From the 60’s (20th century), spontaneous groups emerged on Carnival Sunday and Tuesday.

In the 80’s, the town hall also engaged in this feast.

Tickets began to be charged, providing revenues reinvested in the carnival parade, consisting nowadays of groups of children and samba schools.    

Loulé

Algarve Carnival

The year 1906 marks the beginning of the first “civilised carnival”, contrasting with the aggressive way that characterised carnival celebration until then. In present day, Loulé locals play with serious issues, national politics and current polemic matters for three days.

Carnival parade crosses José da Costa Mealha Avenue. The allegorical car parade, the way people celebrate it and the “Flower Batlle” make it quite famous. Loulé Carnival is one of the most important celebrations of the kind in the country, as well as one of the main tourism highlights of the Algarve during low season.

The parade featured 17 floats, street entertainers and Samba schools, with hundreds of people taking part to bring colour and glee to the heart of the city. Being one of the most colourful events in Portugal, Loulé Carnival is known for its originality and enormous sense of humour. 

Thousands of people visit Loulé each year just for its Carnival celebrations.

Olhão

Visiting Olhão 
Carnival in Olhão

About 1,000 local schoolchildren parade in carnival costume along Avenida da República in Olhão and the Moncarapacho parish also seen a parade of floats, a ball and a fancy dress contest.

The traditional parade, which has taken place for more than 100 years in Moncarapacho, have over a dozen floats, entertainment groups and local senior citizens encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle by walking regularly. 

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