Carnival of Nazaré

Carnival of Nazaré
Carnival celebrations in Portugal are held throughout the country, most famously in Lazarim, Podence, Torres Vedras, Madeira, Sesimbra, Ovar, Loulé, and Nazaré. The Carnival of Nazaré (Carnaval Nazaré) is held at a popular seaside resort located on the Silver Coast (Costa de Prata) of Portugal.

The town of Nazaré is one of the most popular seaside resorts of Portugal’s Silver Coast. It is a popular tourist destination due to its picturesque landscapes, long sandy beaches, big surfing waves, and annual Carnival held before the liturgical season of Lent. Carnival is the biggest and most anticipated event of the year in the small fishing town, attracting thousands of tourists as well as locals.

The Carnival of Nazaré usually begins on the Friday before Ash Wednesday. However, before the official opening of the Carnival, local groups and associations organize a series of masquerade balls leading up to the main event. On Saturday, the festivities are already in full swing. Local Carnival groups, similar to krewes in New Orleans or mystic societies in Mobile, parade through the village, announcing the arrival of the Carnival.

The Nazaré Carival features two daytime parades held on Sunday and on Tuesday. The Sunday parade features decorated floats and various groups whose aim is to make as much noise as possible. The Tuesday parade is more elaborate. The highlight of the Carnival, it attracts about 100,000 spectators.

Alongside two daytime processions, there is a nighttime parade held Saturday night. This is a relatively new tradition that was introduced in 2015. With its allegorical floats and revelers in vibrant costumes, this is a unique spectacle you shouldn’t miss.

The final event of the Carnival is the burial of Santo Entrudo that takes place on Ash Wednesday. The ceremony symbolizes the end of the festivities and the beginning of Lent.

Carnival of Nazaré

Photo: Jucrecio Carringa




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