Photographer's Note

Here's my last post of this event this year.
It's a moment of joy. The moment the prizes are given, the caretos finally take off their heavy wooden masks. This is the one I've posted before, with the lizard at the top. It got second prize and was one of my favourites. Hope to return next year!

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: 5846 W: 64 N: 11207] (46467)
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