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Photographer's Note

This is one of the most important moments of the festival for the locals. It's the "Reading of the Will". From a balcony in the main square of the village, a boy and a girl (the compadre and the comadre, symbolized by the two dolls) read some funny poems that are critics to every single boy and girl of the village. She critics each boy and he critics each girl. According to the will, each one of the critiqued persons symbolically gets a part of the body of a donkey (just for fun, because the donkey will stay alive:). After that, there's a little parade to the treshing floor where the two dolls are burnt.

Carnival in Lazarim is still very authentic. Here, on Tuesday, the "caretos" (people wearing a mask like this one and also costumes) come to the street to show their originality. These masks are sculpted on alder wood, by a few artisans in the village. It takes many hours to do a mask like this one. Each participant has a new mask every year because there is a contest for the best masks and also for the best "caretos". The masks may have horns, moustache, snakes...

There are several villages in the north of Portugal and also in Spain where these celebrations with masks take place. According to some studies, they have their origins in the Celtic cults and they are closely related to the winter solstice and also to fertility.

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Additional Photos by Ana Dores (adores) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5112 W: 64 N: 9050] (36429)
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