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It’s February, it’s Carnival time in Portugal!

It’s February, it’s Carnival time in Portugal!

You’ve heard us already: It’s February, it’s Carnival time in Portugal! Everybody is invited to join in the fun, bask in the explosion of color, music and dance and make merry!

The history of the Carnival began long ago, in the times of the ancient Greeks (around the 6th century BC). The old pagan celebrations were turned into Christian celebrations in the early Middle Ages, as people prepared for a period of fasting. Today, the Carnival is relatively “modernized” and is seen as a reason to celebrate with colorful costumes, masks, singing and dancing.

In Portugal, the Carnival, often referred to as Entrudo, derives from the pagan celebrations that is feasted 47 days before Easter. It is not restricted to a single place, so there are parades and festivals in various cities: Lisbon, Esterreja, Ovar, Torres Vedras, Famalicao and Loule.

In the Algarve, Loule, near Faro, is the capital of this year’s Carnival. Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, this year’s Carnival begins on the 14th of February and lasts until the 17th. The local Carnival here has a history of more than a century and features gigantones (which are huge puppets that are promenaded across town), allegorical floats and dances from prestigious samba schools.

If you are not in Loule, you can rent a car in Lagos or get an Algarve transfer, put on a crazy colorful outfit and a mask and join the celebration dancing and laughing!

There is also a Carnival held on Madeira Island, so if you find yourself there between the 11th and 18th of February, you can also witness the procession of local floats, the parade featuring music, rhythm and flowers crowding the streets and you can put on your dancing shoes and join in the fun. Here, you can also get a Madeira Airport transfer or rent a car in Funchal if you want to move around town easily.