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Lazarim Shrovetide – four days of joy

Lazarim is a town in the municipality of Lamego, which is located 12 kilometers from the city of Lamego. It has around 500 inhabitants, but during Shrovetide the floating population far exceeds this number.

Considered one of the most traditional carnivals in Portugal, its origins are lost in time.

The real ex libris of this carnival are the masks worn by caretos and senhorinhas. Carved by local artisans in alder wood, they display grotesque, zoomorphic figures, devils or witches.

The festivities, which last four days, begin on the Saturday before Carnival. During these days, there are parades of caretos and senhorinhas from Lazarim, visits to artisans and seamstresses and the photographic raid. In the stalls located on the street, traditional sweets and masks made by local artisans are sold.

On Shrove Sunday, the parade takes place with local caretos and with invited caretos and groups, which ends with the Burning of the Old Donkey, a sculpture, in the shape of that animal, made of sticks, broom and burlap.

The most awaited day is Shrove Tuesday. On that day, the caretos come out with new masks.

In the middle of the afternoon, the wills of Godmather and Godfather are read. During the year, the boys write the girls’ wills and they write theirs. The texts are written in a mocking and satirical tone.

After the final parade, the Godmother and Godfather dolls are burned.

It is then time to serve those present a bean stew and a flour broth, which were prepared during the day in iron pots. Next year there will be more.

Caretos on the move, Saturday before Carnival, 2024.
The Shrove Sunday parade with local caretos and with invited caretos and groups, 2024.
Burning of the Old Donkey, 2024.
A careto posing during the photographic raid, Shrove Monday, 2024.
A senhorinha posing before the Shrove Tuesday parade, 2024.
The Godmother and Godfather parading. Behind them are two teenagers holding the dolls that will be burned after the parade, 2024.
A careto, 2024.
A careto parading, 2024.
An artisan carving a mask, 2024.
An artisan carving a mask, 2024.
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Paulo Monteiro

Paulo Monteiro was born June 1963, in S. Miguel, Azores, where he currently lives and works. He has been a photographer since 1985. He has… More »

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