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Festa dos Rapazes

The Pondence "Caretos" CC BY-NC-ND

The "Festa dos Rapazes" is a traditional festival in the region of Trás-os-Montes that takes place every year on the 25th and 26th of December.

The Festival most commonly known as the "Festa dos Rapazes" (Festival of the Lads), is also referred to as the "Festas do Natal" (Christmas Festival), "Festas da Mocidade" (Festival of Young Ones), "Festas da Juventude" (Festival of Youth) or the "Festa dos Caretos" (Festival of Masks), referring to the fact that during these two days it is the young lads of the community who take the lead and are the stars of the celebration.

This festival celebrates the passing of young boys of about sixteen years of age into manhood.

The young men wear masks that take you back to the times of ancient male societies, and in certain places these festivities are even linked to Christian ceremonies.

Ultimately, more than just keeping a century old tradition alive, these festivities strengthen relationships amongst the local community, reinforcing the local and collective identity.

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