The Boes and Merdules are two forms of traditional barbaric typical carnival in Ottana - Sardinia.,. The Boes wear on his face a mask made of wild pear tree that has the features of an ox (hence their name) are covered with the skins ofsheep and have a bunch of bells shoulder. The Merdules, properly "the guardians of the oxen," they too are covered in leather and wearing a mask of wild pear but has the features of the face of an older deformed. Represent the struggle between animal instinct and human reason, in fact, in the carnival performances Boe is chased, caught and whipped by Merdule, and together they give life to the imitation of furious fights. Often in the parades are accompanied disquieting figure de Sa Filonzana , a mask that represents an old, dressed in black busy spinning wool.
The wire is her life and she is ready to cut it with a pair of scissors in front of those who do not drink offering; so all are quick to invite the frugal and avoid unpleasant consequences.

CARETOS (de Podence)

The Careto tradition is a pre-historical Celtic religious ritual still practised in some regions of Portugal, namely in the villages of Podence (Macedo de Cavaleiros, Bragança District) and Lazarim (Lamego, Viseu District). It currently takes place during Carnival and is one of the oldest traditions being practiced in Portugal today. Caretos are masked young men dressed in suits made of yellow, red, black, blue and green fringe wool quilts, wearing brass, leather or wooden masks and rattles in their belts. Cartetos in the Carnival at Lazarim Shrove Tuesday and the prior Sunday are the days when the Caretos are most active. They appear in groups from every corner of the village running and shouting excitedly, frightening the people and “robbing” all the wineries.
The main target of these masquerade groups are single young girls, who make them climb to the top of walls and verandas. Scholars associate the Careto tradition with memories of magical practices related to agrarian fertility cults.

CARETOS DE LAGOA (Mira - Portugal)

Lagoa is the only place with ‘caretos’ in the Portuguese municipality of Mira. Their Mardi Gras parades are an ancient tradition, but its exact origin is unknown. Yet its connection with pagan initiation rituals into adulthood seems indisputable. Known as ‘campinas’, the painted masks of these ‘caretos’ are bedecked with animal horns and skin.
They wear red skirts, which evoke sin, and a white shirt, symbolizing purity. They carry the mandatory cowbells in leather straps. Announcing the spring, they become the protagonists of the new cycle, starting again for the eternal return, beginning to act as fecundating agents. They are all men who embody the devil.
They gather into a group where no one commands and where everyone does what they want


In Lazarim tiny village, in the municipality of Lamego in northern Portugal draws the crowds for its more traditional pre-Lenten celebrations (entrudo in Portuguese), which it claims are the “most genuine in Portugal”. Suffice it to say that these carnival celebrations are extraordinary and deeply rooted in local culture.
Mask-makers spend countless hours transforming a section of solid tree trunk into a wondrous disguise. Each tries to outdo their peers with imaginative designs. While Lazarim’s masks have wood in common, the costumes are more varied. Some are fashioned from sackcloth, others from woven grasses, cane or material.
Lazarimove maske izražavaju trenutnu podjelu zajednice. S jedne strane vidimo Caretose (osobe koje nose velike rezbarene glave), a s druge strane Senhorinhe, njihov ekvivalent ženskog spola. Obje uloge obavljaju muškarci koji se odlikuju odjećom i karikaturalnom izdajom određenih vrsta smiješnih situacija koje svako može lako prepoznati. The complete disguise gives the wearer the anonymity required to get up to all manner of misdeeds and pranks.
Acts that they would never normally get away with, at least not back in the days when people lived in fear of censure and reprisals from religious and civil authorities.


One of the most important historical carnivals in Ávila (Spain), is celebrated in the mountain village of Navalosa thanks to Cucurrumachos. The origin of these representations dates back to the pre-Christian period and to this day the customs have been passed on from generation to generation. A mysterious figure dressed in a heavy linen bag, wrapped in hand-worn rugs (pingueras) and fitted with bells. His face is hidden by a wooden mask covered with horsehair, overhead by the horns of the cattle or herd. The masked Cucurrumacho moves through the narrow streets throwing straw on the peasants. In addition to the aforementioned Cucurrumacho, the five future members dressed in the traditional costume of the mountain range will participate in the ritual as well as women and mothers responsible for the rejuvenation of all present. The ritual ends on the main square of Navalosa where all the gathered dances around the tall chariot top and where symbolic sacrifices are the heifers. No matter how accurate it is and where it originates from the ancient custom, no one is completely sure. Many are associated with ancient Celtic or similar pre-Christian Galician carnival habits.
Today is one of the most reputable carnivals in Castile and León.

HARRAMACHOS (Navalacruz)

At the foothils of the Sierra de Gredos in the province of Avila, another lucky mask that was almost extinct. These are the Harramachos from Navalacruza, which are mostly divided into three types: those covered with oak bushes and leaves, those who use a hay bag and finally those covered with leather. It is impossible to determine the origin of that character and carnival with certainty, however, the animal appearance of harramacho seems to be related to the tradition of cattle breeding in that area. Harramachos, accompanied by other masked characters, usually goes out into the streets in the afternoon of the last Saturday of the carnival. “Maskaravila“ (Masquerade) begins in the square, where the mayor welcomes all those present from the city hall's balconies. After all the characters and their roles are presented the show starts. Maskaravila has always been accompanied by traditional music and serigraph dances. The climax of the parade is a "Mayor" jump in the Chico River. After passing the test, "jump from childhood to maturity" everyone is excited about the success of the mayor, they return to party in the central square.
These monstrous beings give up their last "strokes" in the winter, before they disappear with the coming of spring.


Since 1397 the small town of Béjar, Spain, has held up an intriguing tradition with the festival of “Los Hombres de Musgo”. The story goes that the Christian population in the reign of Alfonso VIII reconquered the town from the “Moros” by camouflaging themselves with moss. They then crawled through the surrounding landscape unseen by the lookouts on the city walls. When they finally arrived at the city gates their sudden, monstrous appearance completely surprised and overwhelmed the guards. They killed the lookouts and then expanded through the city, conquering it after a hard and bloody struggle.
Since then a pilgrimage was held, shortly after the feast of Corpus Christi. The procession of the Corpus has a remarkable historical significance in Béjar. There is evidence of its celebration since the Middle Ages . The most curious element of this religious event is the presence of men of moss, a small group of people who parade in it covered with moss, as the primitive Christian attackers. Throughout the Spanish geography you can find similar legends of men dressed in skins, branches, etc., referring to the primeval man.
But the peculiarity of Béjar is that only she has kept the tradition alive by recreating it along with the procession of Corpus Christi.


The Carnival of Mecerreyes is one of the most traditional of Burgos region. A group of masked characters, the Alguaciles, push the spectators back by throwing ashes at them. The Carnavaladas or Zarramacadas wear costumes made from rags (Trapo ), string (Tras de cuerdas), moss (Musgo), jute (Colono ), feathers (Pluma), bone (Hueso).

LOS CARNEROS (Kanarski otoci)

Rams of Tigaday are the most representative manifestation of the traditional carnival of the island of El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands. In it, a group of young people dressed in sheepskins, with horns and bones of sheep's head or cattle are passing through the streets of Tigadia, in the municipality of La Frontera. The last Sunday and Tuesday of the carnival, attacking and blackmailing everyone on their way. This tradition has an undeniable connection with the typical island life of shepherds. In ancient times, those who came out as trained as rabbits in those days were real shepherds, usually from San Andrés, Isor or El Pinar, who moved to Valle del Golfo valley for grafting and cropping of grapevines in the winter. Nobody knows for sure when this original carnival custom appeared in Tigad although tradition almost disappeared after the Spanish Civil War.
Los Carneros was and still remains the most anomalous example that is being held today during carnival in the Canary Islands.


The image of the devil is deeply rooted in the mascarade culture of all over Europe. One of the variants appears in Luzon, Guadalajara, Spain. "Los Diablos" is a cult mask that is equally worn by both men and women. They are dressed in a wide black sleeveles blouse with and a skirt. In their mouth they have big white "teeth" made from pieces of beet. On their head which is covered with a black scarf they carry large bull horns that are attached to their body with black ropes. They have four large and noisy bells hanging on the wide band around their waist. The revealed parts of their body (face, neck and hands) are smeared with a mixture of oil and soot, which during the procession they use to "mark the faces" of all viewers, especially girls. This ancient custom causes a lot of running on the streets of Luzon in the afternoon when Devils and Mascaritas go out into the city and is one of the most spectacular moments of the carnival. In twilight, after the euphoria, costumed devils wander through the cold streets in a strange procession that looks a bit like a nightmare."Legend says that once a year, through a crack, so no one would know the devils let the wind of Mother Earth into the moor. The sound of cow bells announces the arrival of the bearer of the ancient mystery to the neighbors and strangers, and the mixture of soot and oil marks the faces of those caught. " The first memories of this festival have not been dated, but the tradition has been passed on from parent to child by word of mouth.
Today it is the feast of provincial tourist interest.

LOS SIDROS ili GUIRRIU (Valdesoto)

They hold them in the head melenes, a tall cone about two feet, covered with a skin of oveya sewn into funnel-shaped covering the face, chest and back falls to her waist. Said skin in the shape of the face is cut and the hole is covered with a red cloth, trimmed in blue with holes for eyes, nose and mouth. When on the road were with some wench, ducking his head, he touched her face with the tail raposu, by way of greeting. The Guirriu has in hand a pole of ablanu, about three meters long, at its lower end, ends in a metal reinforcement ended tip that nailed, it facilitates the jump. Sidru mission is jumping and ringing cowbells. For this moves forward with a little trot, achieving at the same time, moving with graceful swing long and loose hair melenes them. Making use of the pole gives great leaps: count reaching three meters high, and good Guirriu, when at the top, knows contoured to ring the bells. These jumps also possible to overcome obstacles from the path: sebes, barganales and portielles.


The origin of mamuthones still remains controversial. According to a study by Marcello Madau lack of written sources testify to the presence of the Mamuthones in the distant past. According to the same study, however, oral testimonies attest that the Mamuthones are already popping up in ' the nineteenth century . Some argue that the ritual goes back to ' age nuragica, as a gesture of reverence for animals which they used to protect themselves from evil spirits or to propitiate the harvest. Among the hypotheses is also a celebration of the victory of the shepherds of Barbagia over the invading Saracens. Some scholars argue a link with . The facemask of Mamuthone is black and made of wood. It’s secured to the face with leather straps and lined with a piece of feminine fashion. The body of Mamuthone is covered with black sheepskin ( mastruca ), with a series of bells on the back (carriga ).The Issohadore, however, wear a headdress called berritta, a white mask, red waistcoat ( curittu ), white shirt and trousers, gold buttons, a bandolier of bronze bells (sonajolos), shawl, woolen leggings in ( cartzas ) leather boots ('usinzu) and a rope ( so'a ).
Issohadores lead the procession and “dance” of the Mamuthones and using a lasso catch members of the audience which is believed to bring good fortune.


The Momotxorro is a personage of unknown origin of the carnival of Alsasua: it is half man and half bull. The custom almost disappeared in the 1930s, and recovered in 1980, although this did not like the old people of the place, since the memory of these characters was linked to stories of pillaging, robbery and even sexual assaults. He is one of the characters of the Basque carnival with more violent and sexual load: he walks the streets with his sarde (the gallows) frightening and "assaulting" who is in his step, and entering the houses of others to "plunder" his interior . They wear horns and cover their faces with scarves or horse bristles. They wear a white shirt stained with blood, and sheepskin. They wear blue trousers, white socks and abarcas. They raise noise with cowbells sewn to the sheepskin or hung around the waist. Attack with the sarde. The character was recovered from the investigations of accordionist Enrike Zelaia, who interviewed the elders of the place. Since then, it has become increasingly popular. The dance of these characters in the Plaza de los Fueros has now become a sample of the people's identity. It is celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday to the sound of the Dance of the Momochorros (Momotxorroen dantza). On Tuesday of Carnival the Puska Biltza is realized (cuestación by the houses). After eating and drinking copiously with what was obtained in the "puska" and late afternoon, hundreds of momotxorros leave the pediment and fierce howling against all living or dead that lie ahead. After traveling several streets, at one point of the entourage, Juantramposo, Maskaritak, a goat and sorginak (witches) join the procession. The goat, raised in a trailer, provokes the females by teaching their attributes and all sorginak howl lewd, and thus generates a lustful and amusing scene that aesthetically and dynamically compensates the violent attitude of the momotxorros. After walking the streets of the village with the usual stops in several taverns, it ends in the town square, where everyone dances to the same are: the Momotxorroen dantza. After dancing, everyone masked with a covered face should remove the rag, in the case of the momotxorro the basket, giving the end of the dance and showing his face before all present.
The party continues with a gaupasa, night of revelry in Euskera.

Link video: Carnaval Rural

OURS (Prats de Mollo)

The events, according to the legend, took place near the Col d’Ares, about 13 km from Prats de Mollo, at the foot of mont Falgas, Long ago, a young shepherdess fainted from shock when she stumbled upon a bear whilst tending her flock. The bear, actually the devil in disguise, took advantage of her swoon and spirited her away to the caves intending to seduce her and steal her virginity. The young damsel however, prayed to Notre Dame du Coral, nearby chapel overlooking the valley, to preserve her virtue, and the bear was unable to approach her. Every time he tried, he was repulsed, causing him to howl with frustration, and attracting the attention of woodcutters felling trees in the area. On the ninth day of her captivity, the ‘jour de la Chandeleur, they again heard her cries and, pushing aside the heavy stone blocking the entrance, rescued the young shepherdess and returned her to her parents.
The thwarted bear was furious, his enraged howling resounding throughout the valley.


The mask is formed by a mask of wood, painted in bright colors, which extends in a sort of turban of metal with an animal motif ( lion , wolf , ox ) in the 1930s designs were used modernists , with bright colors and central figurative designs like animals (horses, bulls, dogs, deer, roosters, exotic birds), bodies astral (Sun, Moon, stars). Behind covering his head, wearing a skin, formerly of dog , bobcat , fox or wolf , now gazelle skin. This skin, called pelica in Galician, comes the Peliqueiro name given to it in Laza . The costume consists of a white shirt, tie and a short jacket of hanging fringed golden ranging tied with ribbons of three colors. A large belt red waist wrapped in holding the pants, perhaps the most difficult part of the suit. Above the belt goes belt, which hang cowbells.
The legs are covered with white stockings, black shoes and a whip in his hand round the typical figure of Laza Carnival.

PULCINELLA (Castiglione Messer Marino)

Pulcinella is an ancient figure playing a fundamental role in the tradition of the Apennine Carnival, which is a central moment in the life of mountain and peasant people since the "carnival" was originally a moment of catharsis and regeneration after paralysis and the winter frost. In the typical carnival of mountain and Apennine areas, Pulcinella is a central character. The fact that he is white and has a pointed hat represents his origin as a depiction of a dead ancestor who was in the underworld and who returns with masks to separate the world of living from the dead. White was the color of the dead. The Pulcinella brought demonic figures from the underworld to fertilize the soil and then set them back to the underworld. Sometimes the puffins had black ash-coated faces, another element that marks the link with the underground world. The origin and the function of his rich pointed hat are said to be one of the most attractive archaic hats of magical figures.
The spiky hat indicates contact with life after death and is an instrument of connection to the other world. It is no coincidence, in fact, that all wizard and witch characters have such hats.

THURPOS (Orotelli)

Carnival of Orotelli is one of the warmest of the Carnival events in Sardinia. The Masque of the tradition is that of Thurpos (the lame): with faces painted black and dressed in long overcoats in coarse wool, they personify the protagonists of the daily life of the shepherd. The Thurpos Boes proceed paired as oxen under the yoke, and are guided by a goad third thurpu. The Thurpos sowers scatter bran along their journey. The thurpu Vrailarzu (the blacksmith) pretends to shoe Thurpos Boes. The carnival Tuesday Thurpos offer drinks to spectators and guide them in their final dances, which take place in the main town square.


Hombre-árbol, Hombre-panoja, Hombre-hojas.... (Silio) The "La Vijanera" festival takes place on the first Sunday of the year in the Spanish town of Silio in the province of Cantabria. During the celebration, hundreds of men from the scene take over seventy characters, each having their own clothes, function, symbols, etc. Besides the main protagonist of the "Zarramacos" festival, numerous phytomorphic masks include "Trapajones" These masks are made of natural elements such as moss, pepper, ivy, straw and chestnut trees. The Hombre-árbol is unimaginably a figure that along with other Trapajones completes a rich set of this unique festival .. In the opening part of the festival there is a bad mood outside the city limits. The other is criticized and ridiculed by the events of last year. In the third part there are two events: the birth of a new year and the killing of bears (a figure), a symbol of victory good against evil, and in favor of the new year


The Venice Carnival tradition began in the 11th century and peaked in popularity and unrest in the 18th century. Thus, according to 18th-century documents, during the Carnival, the Venetians disguised themselves as different figures from their lives, most often fishermen, doctors, astrologers, hunters, bakers ... or in the Commedie dell'Arte figures. But the true Venetian mask did not take on the appearance of these characters, but its function was merely to hide the character of the one wearing it. They are made of paper, leather or porcelain, hand painted and additionally putty (eg feathers, velvet, pebbles ...). Today, costumes differ to some extent from their original form and often combine different elements of different origins. There are three basic and best known species: Bauta, Moretta and Larva. The Larva is also known as the volt mask, it is mostly white in color and typically Venetian, that is, the one most commonly referred to as "Venetian". She often wore a trumpet hat and cloak. It is made of wax and cloth. Twice a day during the Venice Carnival, there is a competition for the best masked costume at Piazza San Marco.


Originally, La Vijanera was celebrated in the valleys of Iguña, Toranzo, Trasmiera, Campoo and Polaciones but now the only place in the region where it is just Silió. The first carnival of the year in Europe is a colorful masquerade involving approximately 60 characters (all male), la madama, el mancebo, los trapajones, el oso and su dueño, el pasiego, el caballero, la Pepa or Pepona, el médico, el domador, el húngaro, el viejo and la vieja, all dressed in a colorful and own function and symbolism. But the real stars of the festival are los zarramacos because of the importance of their role. These are people dressed in sheepskins and weevils hats in addition to carrying the face painted black that will ward off the evil spirits during the year that jingling bells that are tied to the body. Its mission is to expel these spirits of the town coming up to the limits, tradition that points to much more ancient probably from the Roman times.