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Festivity of the Entrudo

Festivity of the Entrudo

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The carnival period that begins on January 6, Epiphany, is marked by various moments of community spirit leading up to the festivity of Fat Sunday and Carnival Tuesday, designated by the days of the "Compadres and Comadres" (the "godfathers and godmothers") -- which are essentially preparatory celebrations for the principal days of fun and amusement.

The "Compadres and Comadres", are groups of young men and women, that confront each other on the two Thursdays prior to Fat Sunday. Each day is led by one of the two groups. Straw dolls are made, dressed in old clothing that poke fun at the opposite sex, and are mocked with jingling sounds. In certain regions, the Comadres (godmothers) offer a meal to the young men which is retributed to them on the day of the Compadres (godfathers). In this manner, they express solidarity between members of the same sex and opposition of the opposite sex, delineating community tasks and positions by subverting traditional customs - On the Thursday of the Comadres, by winning an exercise masculine authority, and on the Thursday of the Compadres by dedicating themselves to domestic tasks.

On Carnival Tuesday, the dolls are burnt in public, after reading a will that highlights the defects and imperfections of the members of the opposite sex. On Ash Wednesday, life returns to normal and it's traditional balance, thus initiating the period of abstinence of Lent.

In Portugal, there are two great examples of carnival tradition: the Caretos (large headed figures) in Podence and the Mascarados (giant masked figures) in Lazarim.


Festivity of the Entrudo
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