Entrudo Chocalheiro - Caretos of Podence
Masked in fancy costumes, the "Caretos"re the most enigmatic and seductive figures in Portugal. Although their natural habitat is the village of Podence, which is situated in Macedo de Cavaleiros, district of Bragança, they are in fact the main attraction in cultural festivities throughout the country and abroad. The "Caretos" are diabolic and mysterious figures. They participate in festivities organised by farmers and seem to be an amalgam of profane, magical and religious elements, quite difficult to define. The masked men show strength and vitality and have become mythical and sacred symbols which are quite out of control because they seem to come from nowhere in large noisy groups, spreading excitement and laughter. Most of their fascination is due to their curious garments and ornaments. The "Caretos" are undoubtedly a unique and fascinating experience not to be missed.