Júlio de Matos Photography

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CARETOS DE PODENCE #1 (2005)


PAGAN RITUALS

From ancient Pre-Roman times, a surviving Celtic tradition still marks every year the end of the cold winter days, in some east Northern Portugal villages.

The Caretos are the actors of a popular and pagan fertility ritual. All happens for a few days, ending on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), before Ash Wednesday.

My paternal family was from Tràs-os-Montes, and I heard some stories in my childhood about this tradition. For me, those strange and fearsome devils lived in trees outside the villages the rest of the year. That is how I still imagine them today!

Júlio de Matos
June, 29th 2009




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