XI Festival Internacional da Máscara Ibérica 5 a 8 de Maio

The Iberian Mask Festival will be filling the Jardim da Praça do Império in Belém with some of the Iberian Peninsula’s ancient pagan traditions.


Regional Showcase
Gastronomy, live handicrafts, gatherings, debates, workshops, Mini Parade, Grand Parade of Iberian Masks, photography exhibition and concerts.Everyday street performances featured groups from Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Brazil.


  • Caretos de Grijó

    Caretos de Grijó

    Bragança, Portugal

    These copper faces come to life through their elegantly sculpted eyes, eyebrows, ears and nose, and a protruding tongue. Two characters, the “King” and the “Bishop”, rule the show.

  • Caretos de Parada

    Caretos de Parada

    Bragança, Portugal

    Dressed in wool quilts and garish fringes, they wear masks made of wood, cork or tin. These garments confer on them the authority to expunge society of all its ills and bring about collective purification.

  • Máscaros de Vila Boa

    Máscaros de Vila Boa

    Vinhais, Bragança, Portugal

    These masked characters descend on the streets of the village during Carnival. Wearing masks made out of tinplate or hand carved from chestnut and painted in red and black, they sow confusion following mass or go on the prowl for smoked sausages.

  • Cardadores de Vale do Ílhavo

    Cardadores de Vale do Ílhavo

    Ílhavo, Portugal

    On “Fat Sunday” and on Tuesday of Carnival, the Cardadores (i.e., Carders) venture into the streets to spread fear among local inhabitants. Imbued with historical symbolism and social criticism, their name has its origins in the carding of wool, the difference being that these characters “card” people rather than sheep, especially young girls.

  • Caretos de Podence

    Caretos de Podence

    Macedo de Cavaleiros, Portugal

    These masked characters, with their tri-coloured woolly fringes, roam the streets for a meddlesome carnival, that is, to “rattle” women with the bells hanging from their waists and to celebrate ‘marriage contracts’ on the evening of Fat Sunday.

  • Caretos da Lagoa

    Caretos da Lagoa

    Mira, Portugal

    Wearing dresses and masks adorned with animal skin and horns, these “caretos” are a hybrid of human and animal who use their masks or “campina” to acquire supernatural powers and ward off negative forces.

  • Brutamontes do Auto de Floripes

    Brutamontes do Auto de Floripes

    Viana do Castelo, Portugal

    At the beginning of August, during the procession of Our Lady of the Snows, the municipality of Viana plays host to the popular enactment “Auto da Floripes”, inspired by an episode from a war fought between Emperor Charlemagne and the Turkish king, Admiral Balaão.

  • Gigantones e Cabeçudos de Viana do Castelo

    Gigantones e Cabeçudos de Viana do Castelo

    Viana do Castelo, Portugal

    The earliest record of the presence of “Carnival Giants” in Romaria da Senhora d’Agonia, in Viana do Castelo, appears in the 19th century. Each giant measures about 3.5 to 4 metres in height and has a frame which allows it to be worn and manoeuvred by a person inside. The large head is made from Papier-mâché, and the rest of the frame can weigh up to 30kg. This is supported on the shoulders of the person inside and means that the range of movements the giant can make is limited. They appear in pairs and reflect social class distinctions: Manuel and Maria represent common people; the Doctor and the Lady represent the bourgeoisie. They usually parade to the drum rhythms of musical groups known as “Zés P’reiras”.

  • Mascarilla Que No Me Conoces

    Mascarilla Que No Me Conoces

    Rus, Jáen, Andalusia, Spain

    The Mozos festival is the most traditional of Rus’ festivals and the only one on Spanish soil. Over 300 years old, this celebration always begins on the penultimate Sunday in September and has its origins in the bubonic plague epidemic (Black Death), which killed most of the area’s youth. The story goes that the inhabitants of Rus organised a procession of the Holy Sacrament in order to combat the epidemic and that the sick immediately began to be cured. This event has been commemorated ever since with a Holy Sacrament procession and, at the same time, with a fancy-dress carnival. The most notable feature of the carnival is the masked disguise known as the “Mascarillo Que No Me Conoces”, which includes a bell to scare off death.

  • Los Sidros Y La Comedia De Valdesoto

    Los Sidros Y La Comedia De Valdesoto

    Asturias, Spain

    Experts at leaping into the air with the aid of their rods, the Sidros are distinguished by the “cucuruchos” or headdresses made from sheep wool and sheepskin. Crowning the costume is a fox’s tail which they use to greet young women.

  • Mazcaritos D’Uviéu

    Mazcaritos D’Uviéu

    Asturias, Spain

    Mentioned for the first time in the 17th century, the characters of this carnival gradually disappeared in the 20th century and were completely forbidden during the Franco Dictatorship. They appear in pictures by the Asturian painter Evaristo Valle dating to 1928 and are being brought back after an absence of almost 80 years. Of the characters which make up these Mazcaritos, Destrozona is the most important; a man disguised as a witch who chases locals on a broomstick while shouting and provoking the authorities with chants and satirical verses. The cast of this carnival is completed by the Zaparrastros, the Sábanos, the Galán and the Madama, the Rollona with the Neñu and the Soldáu, the Zuavu, the Cura and the Diablo, the Osa and the Zíngaros, the Ciego and the Ciega and the Captain of Comparsa.

  • Carnaval Hurdano

    Carnaval Hurdano

    Azabal, Cáceres, Spain

    Celebrated over the last 20 years, this is one of the most unique celebrations of Azabal, being part of the identity of the population. In the Hurdano’s Carnival, the masks, dances, tambours and even gastronomy are planned to the smallest detail, presenting a duality between man and animal, alluding to a prehistoric period.

  • Jarramplas


    Piornal, Cáceres, Spain

    In January, the tiny village of Piornal is awash in turnips. In an act of “popular justice”, these are hurled by the thousands at a masked figure covered in multi-coloured ribbons, who represents a cattle thief. Such is its fame that Jarramplas has been designated as a Festival of National Interest in Spain.
    Bonitas De Sande, Galicia

    These masked figures are inspired by the garments brought back from the Philippines war by local and neighbouring inhabitants. Their name derives from their pretty clothes (“bonita” means pretty), while the figures stand out for their elegant feathered headdresses.

  • Bonitas de Sande

    Bonitas de Sande

    Galicia, Spain

    On “Piñata Sunday”, Samede celebrates El Entroido Grande. One of the high points of this celebration is the “Muiñeira Cruzada” dance (featuring masks adorned with ribbons, colourful bows and hats decorated with feathers), which must be performed by at least 10 pairs of dancers. Older residents will tell you that the Samede carnival had been around for many years, but for several reasons stopped being celebrated in the 1960s. In recent years, a group of locals has undertaken exhaustive research and documentation work to bring back this traditional carnival.

  • Entroido de Samede

    Entroido de Samede

    Galicia, Spain

    On “Piñata Sunday”, Samede celebrates El Entroido Grande. One of the high points of this celebration is the “Muiñeira Cruzada” dance (featuring masks adorned with ribbons, colourful bows and hats decorated with feathers), which must be performed by at least 10 pairs of dancers. Older residents will tell you that the Samede carnival had been around for many years, but for several reasons stopped being celebrated in the 1960s. In recent years, a group of locals has undertaken exhaustive research and documentation work to bring back this traditional carnival.

  • Los Boteiros Y Folión De Viana Do Bolo

    Los Boteiros Y Folión De Viana Do Bolo

    Galicia, Spain

    Wearing unique masks that represent various parishes, the Folions and Boteiros, crowned with flowery antlers, announce their parade on every Sunday of Carnival to the sound of thunderous beats from the bass drums.

  • Los Mazcaras Y Los Lardeiros De Manzaneda

    Los Mazcaras Y Los Lardeiros De Manzaneda

    Galicia, Spain

    The carnival celebrated in Manzaneda features the characters of the Mazcaras and the Lardeiros. Performing a specific dance, they wear an enormous cone-shaped frame on their heads, which is decorated with colourful ribbons. Their faces are also sometimes covered. They wander through the villages, from house to house, with songs and sayings which ridicule or praise local events that have happened over the year and which sometimes allude to the families they are visiting. These respond by offering drinks and snacks. Houses which are in mourning are respected.

  • Las Pantallas De Xinzo De Limia

    Las Pantallas De Xinzo De Limia

    Galicia, Spain

    The “Pantallas” are the driving force behind the Xinzo de Limia Carnival, which lasts longer than any other in Spain. These characters wear white clothes, a black or red cape, colourful ribbons, a belt decorated with bells and a colourful mask (which gives its name to the disguise). These ancient characters make their way through the streets, wielding the traditional air-filled calf bladders, looking for men not in disguise. They never chase women. Objective? To take the men to the nearest bar, where they must pay (in glasses of white wine) for the audacity of not getting dressed up.

  • Los Toros Y Los Guirrios De Vellila De La Reina

    Los Toros Y Los Guirrios De Vellila De La Reina

    León, Spain

    In this Carnival festival, the “guirrio” leads the “bull” as they try to frighten the single women of the village. The “Guirrio’s” colourful head piece hangs over a white costume, which is accompanied by bells and rakes.

  • Los Hombres De Musgo De Béjar

    Los Hombres De Musgo De Béjar

    Salamanca, Spain

    Legend has it that on the night before 17 June, the day of the Festival of St. Marina, Christian soldiers covered themselves in moss by the walls surrounding the city in order to surprise their Moorish enemies the next morning.

  • Merdeiros de Vigo

    Merdeiros de Vigo

    Vigo, Spain

    The Merdeiro is a character from the traditional Vigo carnival which dates back to the 1920s. He represents the rivalry which exists between the sailors and farm labourers. When carnival arrived, the sailors would transform into “Merdeiros”, wearing the typical clothes of agricultural workers, exaggerating the most recognisable elements of their attire and behaviour as they wandered through the streets. This irreverent, unpopular character runs, shouts and hits all those who cross his path with a stick. The Merdeiro disappeared in the 1930s and was reinstated in 2006 by the Ethnographic Association “A Merdeira”.

  • El Atenazador De San Vicente De La Cabeza

    El Atenazador De San Vicente De La Cabeza

    Zamora, Spain

    Unique for being the only festival to take place in the summer months. It used to be celebrated on 29th June (Saint Peter’s Day), but is now held on the 11th August to coincide with the festivities of the city’s patron saint (Saint Lawrence) and thereby take advantage of the large number of people in the area. The stars of the show are the Atenazadores (Tong-wielders), so named because of the huge wooden tongs (“tenazas”) that they carry in their hands. The parade also includes the traditional characters of the Filandorra (Weaver), the Pobres (Paupers), the Novios (Fiancées), who symbolise good, and the Gaiteiros (Pipers), who bring the party to life with traditional songs.

  • El Carnaval Del Toro De Morales De Valverde

    El Carnaval Del Toro De Morales De Valverde

    Zamora, Spain

    O Toro é a principal personagem do carnaval de Morales de Valverde. É em torno desta figura, feita com uma estrutura de madeira, coberta com um tecido branco e adornada com chifres de vaca e chocalhos, que decorre toda a ação deste dia. O Torero, outra personagem desta celebração, não aparece para tourear o Toro, embora às vezes também o faça. A sua missão é ajudá-lo a “cornear” as raparigas solteiras da aldeia, que aparecem vestidas com o rodao, traje típico da região. Outras figuras deste Carnaval são os Gordos – vestidos com roupas tradicionais e cheias de palha, o que os ajuda a alcançar a desejada aparência mais rechonchuda – los Novios, los Birrias ou el Feo.

  • El Pajarico Y El Caballico De Villarino Tras La Sierra

    El Pajarico Y El Caballico De Villarino Tras La Sierra

    Zamora, Spain

    This celebration, also known as the festival of Saint Stephen (because it’s held on the 26th December) is considered a boys’ festival. The participants make their way around the village, from house to house. Three characters take centre stage: the first is the Pajarico (the little bird), a role normally filled by the village’s youngest inhabitant, who appears maskless and carrying a stick which traditionally held a dead bird at one end. During the procession, all sorts of offerings appear on the stick; payment, the village elders say, for keeping the birds away from the harvest. The second character (and the most active one) is the Caballico whose job it is to get everyone dirty with clay and water. They wear a blue boiler suit, boots, bonnet and wooden masks painted black with red markings. Since 2007, another character has been reintroduced: the Zamarrones, a kind of Devil present in all pagan processions. This figure had disappeared from the festival in the middle of the 20th century.

  • La Filandorra De Ferreras De Arriba

    La Filandorra De Ferreras De Arriba

    Zamora, Spain

    Celebrated on the 26th December, this carnival encompasses twin concepts: Good and Evil; the Feos, represented by the Devil and la Filandorra, and the Guapos, represented by el Galán (the Gallant one) and la Madama (the Lady). The party begins after Mass when, unexpectedly, the Feos arrive. Shouting and ringing cowbells, they attack the villagers, with the Filandorra leaving the black mark of her burnt star on everyone’s faces. The favourite targets of these invaders are the girls; in the past they used to try to lift up their skirts if they didn’t make a donation. The four characters then go around the village visiting all the houses: first the Feos, symbolizing danger, then the Guapos. They exit the houses in reverse order; the last to leave are the Guapos, signifying the victory of Good.

  • La Visparra De San Martín De Castañeda

    La Visparra De San Martín De Castañeda

    Zamora, Spain

    Come 3pm on the 5th January, the inhabitants of this village next to Sanabria Lake celebrate La Visparra. The central figure of this party is the Talanqueira or, in this case, two Talanqueiras. Their costume consists of a wooden frame which, covered in colourful fabric (red for the Bull, yellow for the Cow), is reminiscent of a picture canvass. At one end of the frame is a pair of horns and at the other is a tail. The face and body are covered with brightly-coloured fabrics. This frame and the way of carrying it are unique in the Iberian Peninsula. Despite being the scariest characters of the Visparra, they are also the most symbolic; the Bull represents animal and human fertility and the Cow, a symbol of the Earth, is a reference to agricultural issues.

  • Los Carnavales De Villanueva De Valrojo

    Los Carnavales De Villanueva De Valrojo

    Zamora, Spain

    The rituals of this Carnival are derived from ancient times and remain faithful to the original concept of purification and fertility. The revelers who make their rounds through the village are characterized by masks made of plastic, cork or copper, and by their horns and bells.

  • Los Diablos De Sarracín

    Los Diablos De Sarracín

    Zamora, Spain

    On the first day of every year, Sarracín de Alíste hosts the most complete of the pagan processions, the Obisparras. It’s also the only one where the Bishop (the Obispo) appears, giving the procession its name. Out of a total of 12 characters, the Devils are the most important. Legend has it that these Devils used to live in the mountains and would only come down to the village on New Year’s Day. On one of these visits, they met with the Ciego and the Molacillo whom they immediately tried to expel. The plot is completed by a story of passion. The Big Devil falls for the Madama, but in order to marry her he must first kill his own son. These battles are now performed annually. The Bishop appears briefly for the burial of the Devil’s son.

  • Boi Tinga

    Boi Tinga

    São Caetano de Odivelas, Pará, Brazil

    The Boi Tinga carnival is a São Caetano de Odivelas tradition dating back to 1937 and is part of the Odivelas boi de máscaras celebrations. What makes it different are the various participants involved: numerous revellers, 15 cabeçudos (Big-Heads), 50 to 60 pierrots, two cowboys, buchudos (Big-bellies) and the Boi Tinga (a fancy-dress bull), which are the traditional characters of the town’s festivals. These characters reflect a spirit of real fun and revelry, parading to the sound of traditional carnival tunes, frevos, sambas and the marcha de Boi, performed by the students of the Rodrigues dos Santos Music School and the Milícia Odivelense band.

  • The Mummers

    The Mummers


    Nobody knows for sure where and when this tradition began. A Mummer is someone wearing a traditional disguise made of straw and including an enormous (normally cone-shaped) hat that covers the face.
    These Mummers perform a play which always features the same characters: the hero kills the villain who is reborn thanks to a magic potion administered by a doctor. After this other characters appear on stage, each with their own rhyme.


  • Bregia



    Bregia is a group of musicians who get together from time to time to play traditional Irish music, taking it to international audiences. The traditional instruments and timeless sounds of Ireland are a constant, leading the audience on a journey through the heritage and landscape of the Emerald Isle. Known for their joyful and contagious energy, Bregia’s performance in Lisbon promises to be a night of great entertainment.

  • Realejo



    Formed in Coimbra in 1990, the Realejo band combines sounds from traditional Portuguese and European music. The results are excellent and include the use of acoustic and traditional instruments, some made by one of the group’s members, Fernando Meireles (the only maker of the Hurdy-gurdy in Portugal). Since the year 2000, the group has also explored the use of vocals in traditional pieces and pieces of their own creation. In 2005 they were selected to represent Portugal at the Dock des Suds World Music Festival in Marseille (France). In 2012 they were awarded the Sopa de Pedra Award for Best Album 2011 by Rádio Universitária do Algarve (RUA FM) for their album “Ruja Ruja Quem Quiser Que Fuja”. With a group of talented musicians, Realejo achieves a remarkable balance of tradition and modernity which results in inventive and personalised music, universally praised by even the most demanding Portuguese music critics.

  • Oscar Ibáñez

    Oscar Ibáñez


    Oscar Ibáñez is a piper and flute instrumentalist, who makes a musical fusion based on his roots and in his work of research and creation. His career began in different traditional music groups (with whom he has performed throughout Europe). Ibáñez has taught in more than 10 countries in Europe and America. He has also participated in Galician bagpipe contests, in which he collected more than 40 awards.

  • Toques do Caramulo

    Toques do Caramulo


    The Toques do Caramulo are constantly reinventing themselves, turning old songs into new music and surprising the audience with the forgotten music of the Serra do Caramulo. Widely recognised nationally and internationally, this is a highly energetic and interactive musical performance, ensuring each concert is great fun for all ages. In 2017 they released their third record, “mexe!” which, in their own words, is “joyful, but also deep. Music that is both colourful and fresh like a natural spring”.