Caretos podence

caretos podence

Who are the Caretos de Podence?

The current generation of Caretos de Podence is mostly made up of young men who work or study abroad and return to the village for the Carnival alone. They’re proud of being from the village that gave birth to the caretos and thoroughly enjoy wearing the costume that preserves their anonymity while having fun.

What is Careto?

The Careto tradition is a pre-historical Celtic religious ritual still practised in some regions of Portugal, namely in the villages of Podence ( Macedo de Cavaleiros, Bragança District ), Vila Boa de Ousilhão ( Vinhais, Bragança District ), Varge ( Aveleda, Bragança District ), among others.

How much does a Careto costume cost?

A careto costume can cost up to €1000 (£870), a hefty sum to pay even if you can find someone qualified (or willing) to make you one. The village currently has a professional outfitter who makes careto costumes on demand. But, according to Kevin – a 26-year-old careto, born and raised in France, “The best costumes are home-made.”

Why do Caretos dress up as the Devil?

To celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring, local residents known as caretos dress up in costumes of colourful wool fringes and leather masks, with heavy cowbells on their belts, to impersonate the devil. This local custom is typical of the whole Trás-os-montes region, and specifically of the village of Podence.

What is Podence Caretos?

This local custom is typical of the whole Trás-os-montes region, and specifically of the village of Podence. For three days, the caretos can be seen running around the village causing raucous mayhem: raiding taverns, shouting and ringing their bells as they go.

What is Careto?

The Careto tradition is a pre-historical Celtic religious ritual still practised in some regions of Portugal, namely in the villages of Podence ( Macedo de Cavaleiros, Bragança District ), Vila Boa de Ousilhão ( Vinhais, Bragança District ), Varge ( Aveleda, Bragança District ), among others.

Why do Caretos dress up as the Devil?

To celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring, local residents known as caretos dress up in costumes of colourful wool fringes and leather masks, with heavy cowbells on their belts, to impersonate the devil. This local custom is typical of the whole Trás-os-montes region, and specifically of the village of Podence.

What happened to Portugal’s Caretos?

Now a respected village elder, Torres has been a careto all of his whole life, except for the 18 years he spent abroad. In the 1970s, the poverty of Portugal’s rural areas led to mass migration, and the tradition became almost extinct, with only three caretos remaining in the village.

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