XI Festival Internacional da Máscara Ibérica 5 a 8 de Maio

The Iberian Mask Festival is back this year, taking place in Belém for the very first time. Mask-wearers, revellers and caretos will roam freely through the Jardim da Praça do Império.


Regional Showcase
Gastronomy, sampling of regional foods, live handicrafts, gatherings, discussions, workshops for children, theatre, Mini Parade, Grand Parade of Iberian Masks, photography exhibition and music concerts. Street performances will be featured each day.


  • Caretos de Grijó

    Caretos de Grijó

    Bragança, Portugal

    These wooden 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 da Parada

    Caretos da 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.

  • Caretos de Salsas

    Caretos de Salsas

    Bragança, Portugal

    Held in the first weekend of the year, the Festival of Kings is headlined by figures clad in dyed wool, their faces covered by hoods.  Made of wood, cork or tin, the mask is decorated with horns, eyebrows, a moustache, teeth or a protruding tongue.

  • Caretos de Varge

    Caretos de Varge

    Bragança, Portugal

    In the wake of Christmas mass, a pagan festival takes place: young men draped in colourful ribbons and wearing masks with prominent noses spread euphoria and chaos through this village in the northeast region of Trás-os-Montes.

  • 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.

  • Entrudo das Aldeias do Xisto de Góis

    Entrudo das Aldeias do Xisto de Góis

    Coimbra, Portugal

    While the masks are always made out of cork, the costume can include almost anything: goat horns, corn silk, burlap, sheep wool, deer antlers or the teeth of wild boars. Anyone can make up their own combinations, while men can dress up as women and vice versa.

  • Cardadores de Vale de Ílhavo

    Cardadores de Vale de 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.

  • Pauliteiros de Miranda

    Pauliteiros de Miranda

    Miranda do Douro, Portugal

    This dance troupe from Miranda is one of the principal attractions of the northeast region of Trás-os-Montes. Comprised of 8 members, this all-male group dances and plays traditional folkloric music from Miranda, accompanied by bagpipe, bass drum and pipe.

  • Madames and Caretos de Torre de Dona Chama

    Madames and Caretos de Torre de Dona Chama

    Mirandela, Portugal

    On the night of 25 December, festival organisers and their “embudes” or large iron funnels make the rounds of the village and call the home owners’ names, thus opening the Feast of Saint Stephen. The characters proceed together from the church to the market square and a castle is “lit on fire” to symbolise the Christians’ victory over the Moors at the founding of this settlement.

  • Chocalheiro de Bemposta

    Chocalheiro de Bemposta

    Mogadouro, Portugal

    This character of zoomorphic references has an orange displayed on each end of its horns and is a sympathetic, magical and diabolical figure. Wearing a black suit made from tow and adorned with red ribbons, he knocks on the door of each house in the village, begging for alms. Legend has it that this is his penance…

  • Farandulo de Tó

    Farandulo de Tó

    Mogadouro, Portugal

    In a festivity involving four characters, Farandulo plays the lead role in a celebration of the Winter Solstice in Tó, appearing in the streets of the village on New Year’s Day. Along with the Coquette, the Young Man and the Organiser, he salutes the population with staged dramatisations and amorous pursuits.

  • Festa dos Velhos de Bruçó

    Festa dos Velhos de Bruçó

    Mogadouro, Portugal

    An old couple and a young couple present scenes from real life, wearing masks made of painted plastic. Carrying shepherd’s staffs, the old couple are entrusted with collecting donations for the altar to the Virgin Mary and preserving public order, while the young couple are devoted to more fleshly pursuits.

  • Careto and Velha de Valverde

    Careto and Velha de Valverde

    Mogadouro, Portugal

    On 25 December, the Careto roams the streets, accompanied by an old woman. His black mask has a protruding tongue and he wears a multi-coloured costume, while she carries a basket and wears a mask made from sheepskin.   Together they walk through the village, begging for alms.

  • Velho de Vale do Porco

    Velho de Vale do Porco

    Mogadouro, Portugal

    In the village of Vale do Porco, the figure of the Velho, otherwise known as the Devil, participates in all of the rituals of Christmas. On 24 December, dressed in a costume made out of burlap and wearing bells around his waist, he covers his face with a wooden mask painted in red and with horns.

  • 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 Balao.

  • Maio de Nogueira

    Maio de Nogueira

    Vila Real, Portugal

    In times past, when more local hands were available to work the fields, a worker would be chosen to be covered in broom plants at the end of the 1st day of May. This tradition continues today in which a group of men venture out to fallow fields to be covered in vivid yellow, spreading a wild perfume.

  • Sidros and la Comedia de Valdesoto

    Sidros and la Comedia de Valdesoto

    Astúrias, 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.

  • Real Banda de Gaitas de Oviedo

    Real Banda de Gaitas de Oviedo

    Astúrias, Espanha

    Created in 1992, this band has 101 musicians and it’s responsible for bringing the traditional Asturian music to the public, transmitting the feelings of the people in northern Spain and promoting the sound of the Asturian Bagpipes.

  • Carantoñas de San Sebastián

    Carantoñas de San Sebastián

    Acehúche, Cáceres, Spain

    These beasts represent the martyrdom of St. Sebastian following the pagan Romans’ discovery of his Christian faith. The creatures are dressed in animal skin (mostly goat or sheep), with parts from a fox or donkey hanging from their waists or heads.

  • Los Gigantes y Cabezudos de Aranda de Duero

    Los Gigantes y Cabezudos de Aranda de Duero

    Burgos Spain

    Originating in the Middle Ages, this tradition is shared by numerous cities across Spain. With heads and hands made out of paper mache and fibreglass, these personalities are dressed in light fabric to lessen the load on the lone carriers who, supported by a wood structure, manoeuvre their bodies about.

  • Gigantes de Sant Jordi y Del Tricentenario

    Gigantes de Sant Jordi y Del Tricentenario

    Catalonia, Spain

    In Catalonia, most cities, villages and neighbourhoods have their own giant puppets, representatives of illustrious local figures and their ambassadors throughout the territory. Symbolising the Barcelona of the baroque era, they are a faithful portrayal of the garments used in the 18th century and only appear on important occasions.

  • Bonitas de Sande

    Bonitas de Sande

    Galiza, Spain

    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.

  • Carnaval de Cobres

    Carnaval de Cobres

    Galiza, Spain

    During Carnival, “Madames” and “Monsieurs” visit the homes of the parishes of Santa Cristina and San Adrián from 10 in the morning to sundown, decked out in ribbons, beads, watches and hats that can weigh up to 7 kilos altogether.

  • Boteiros y Folión de Viana do Bolo

    Boteiros y Folión de Viana do Bolo

    Galiza, 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.

  • Danzantes y Boteiros de Vilariño de Conso

    Danzantes y Boteiros de Vilariño de Conso

    Galiza, Spain

    In the traditional Carnival of Vilariño do Conso, on Sunday, revellers are led by a pair of Boteiros dressed in embroidered clothes, featuring multi-coloured ribbons and masks made from birch trees.

  • Peliqueiros y Parranfón de Campobecerros

    Peliqueiros y Parranfón de Campobecerros

    Galiza, Spain

    Marking the first day of the new year, the Peliqueiros ring their bells through the entire village as they run and jump in their flashy, elegant costumes, while the Parranfón “invades” the houses of neighbours while concealing its true identity.

  • Diablos de Luzón, Guadalajara

    Diablos de Luzón, Guadalajara


    At Carnival in Luzón, men are transformed into black devils and roam freely through the village. Greased in oil and soot and displaying bull horns, crooked teeth and bells wrapped around their waists, they sow terror among all who cross their path, especially young girls.

  • Jurrus y Birrias de Alija del Infantado

    Jurrus y Birrias de Alija del Infantado


    On the Sunday prior to Carnival Tuesday, in a re-enactment filled with guttural screams and the sound of drums, an ancient Eurasian confederation of equestrian nomads  – The Huns – stages an attack on the Celts who inhabit the northern Iberian Peninsula.

  • Toros y Guirrios de Velilla de la Reina

    Toros y Guirrios de Velilla 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.

  • Hombres de Musgo de Béjar

    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.

  • Carnavales de Villanueva de Valrojo

    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 revellers who make their rounds through the village are characterised by masks made of plastic, cork or copper, and by their horns and bells.

  • Carnaval Hurdanu

    Carnaval Hurdanu


    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 Hudano’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.

  • Carnaval de Barranquilla

    Carnaval de Barranquilla

    Barranquilla, Colombia

    During Carnival, the city of Barranquilla goes through a profound metamorphosis. Monsters from the sea, land and galaxies appear on the streets, blending with local traditional characters in one of Colombia’s largest traditional festivals.

  • Diablada



    The mask and the devil’s garments inspire the name of this dance symbolising the battle between the forces of good and evil, an allusion to the Jesuits in Peru in the 16th century who taught the natives a song-dance on feast days.





    Composed of traditional instruments including pipes and percussion, this musical initiative by Associação Gaita‐de‐Foles blends traditional themes with original compositions, and ancient techniques with contemporary arrangements.




    Galandum Galundaina hails from the territory of Miranda and the northeast region of Trás-os-Montes.

    Over their 20 years together and three albums recorded as a group, this band has played a key role in promoting the musical, dance and linguistic heritage of Miranda do Douro.




    Hailing from Cáceres, Los Niños de Los Ojos Rojos have an independent, avant-garde musical style that fuses European folk rooted in Ireland, Greece and the Balkans with more modern rhythms including hip hop, disco, reggae, ska and funk.




    “Sons do Douro” [Sounds of Douro] is a show that evokes the imaginary of the Douro region and seeks to recreate the environments of a region steeped in history and identity. The musical themes composed by Filipe Marado are inspired by everyday sounds, from casks and bells to the grape harvest.