Portugal Carnaval

The festival of Carnaval Portugal celebrates is a fun and exciting time for all and kicks off in February. It’s a yearly bash that celebrates life and happens in many places all over the world. The festival of Carnaval Portugal is related to what is called “Mardi Gras” in New Orleans and is one of the biggest festivals of the year attracting thousands of people from all over. It is celebrated in Portugal as well as Azores toward the end of the month of February and is a time when people go all out! This event is defined by music, dance and elaborate costumes and takes months of preparation. Carnaval Portugal is not to be missed when in the country during February.

Portugal Carnaval history dates back to hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The roots of the festival actually stem from the catholic religion. Initialized in Italy, the tradition began while putting on a boisterous costume festival on the day before Lent began. During Lent Catholics abstain from meat so the festival was called “Carnevale” which literally means to “put away the meat.”

This festival became extremely famous over the years and spread its roots to Spain, France and most countries in Europe where Catholicism was prominent. At a certain time in history the Americas were taken over by the Spanish, French and Portugese and they took with them this revered tradition which later spread around the world. Portugal Carnaval is still extremely renowned in the country today.

Portugal Carnaval bands take several weeks to assemble. Sewing, gluing, welding, applying glitter and feathers, sequins and foil papers to adorn costumes and instruments requires phenomenal patience. Though the Portugal Carnaval is for fun celebrations, the Portugese take the preparation quite seriously! It’s a show of the best of the best and there is a fun element of showing each other up in costuming.

The first step is thinking up a theme or inclusive idea for the band and to come up with drawings for the costumes. Portugal Carnaval creativity is integral to the process. Awards are given out for the best costume displays. During this time forget about dining at a restaurant as there are usually food vendors dotting the streets where delicious Portugese food is sold to partygoers.

Though Carnaval seems to be best known in Brazil, Carnaval in Portugal was taken from Portugal to Brazil long ago. Carnaval in Portugal is celebrated with fervor and frenetic action in Lisbon. If wanting to visit during the festival, be sure to make all arrangements well ahead of time as the city fills up to the brim! Book your Lisbon hotel far ahead of time.

The electrifying show is full of vibrant color and the energy is unbeatable. The streets are flooded in a marvelous exhibition of parties, floats and street parades and everyone is full of spirit and vitality. Carnaval in Portugal is the most exciting time of year for residents and visitors and perhaps the best time to see Portugal at its prime. The Algarve region is the perfect place to celebrate the Carnaval festival by the sea. Some people even decorate traditional Portugese boats and navigate them along the shoreline for fun. Restaurants stock up on seafood and other goods and the streets teem with colorful decorations as people ready themselves for the festivities.

Another great place to celebrate Carnaval where thousands of visitors arrive every year is in Funchal, specifically on the gorgeous island of Madeira. This mountainous island hosts a spectacular event where the favorite dish is grilled swordfish accompanied by a glass of distinct Madeira wine. The scenery is beautiful and spirits run high as the exciting festival ensues.

Though this festival Portugal celebrates is to signal the end of the winter season and the beginning of Lent, in Lisbon is has also become equally based on fun. With this festival Portugal residents carry on much of the fun throughout the month and a buzz blankets the city like no other time of year. The festival Portugal loves dearly is best celebrated in the modern part of Lisbon in Parque Nacoes along the riverfront.

Though Carnaval might be most animatedly celebrated in Lisbon and the islands, the rest of the country puts on quite a show as well and visitors will see parades all along the ample coastline as well as inland. Be patient and cautious if driving on the streets during the festival and keep your windows up as water balloons and squirt guns are popular with the mischievous! Take the time to enjoy and discover the culture of Portugal and most of all have fun!

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