The unremarkable village of Lazarim (off the N2 Lamego–Castro Daire road) plays host to one of the oddest rituals to survive in Portugal. The Entrudo dos Compadres is a boisterous carnival that has taken place every Shrove Tuesday since the Middle Ages, with cavorting revellers taking to the streets wearing beautifully carved wooden masks, symbolic of the event’s licentiousness. From a balcony, two colourful dolls loaded with fireworks are presented to the crowd – the compadre, carried by two young women, and comadre, toted by two young men. The couples proceed to recite insulting rhymes centring on sexual behaviour, after which the fireworks are lit and the dolls disintegrate in an explosive fury of smoke and flame, marking the end of the old year and the beginning of the new.

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