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The devilish caretos of Podence: A Portuguese tradition with bells on

The devilish caretos of Podence: A Portuguese tradition with bells on

Jangling cowbells give her a little warning but not enough time for the pretty young girl to escape the mischievous embrace of the masked careto. With one colourful woolly arm around her shoulders, he bats her hair with the tip of his long hood and bumps his bell-clad hips against hers in a manic dance. She squeals in mock horror while her family laugh and take photos.

Caretos of Podence

A careto is someone disguised as the devil during carnivals, the most common form of packing in as much fun as possible before the deprivations of Lent. There are no carnival parades with scantily clad girls and colourful floats in Podence, a tiny village in Tras-os-Montes in the north-east of Portugal, just 40 men dressed in stripes of red, yellow and green wool sporting leather belts with cowbells on. The caretos of Podence spend the three days before Lent running wild in the streets playing tricks on the unsuspecting.

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This post was recommended and added to Love All Blogs by Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal

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