Bragança carnival reinvents itself amid pandemic, to be celebrated online

Bragança’s carnival is taking place online this year in February due to the pandemic, offering virtual classes with chefs and mask-making lessons. People will also be able to order the typical butelo sausage. 

In previous years, the streets of the city of Bragança, in northern Portugal, and a tent in Lisbon’s Praça de Camões square, were bustling with people celebrating the Butelo and Casulas festival and the Caretos Carnival. This year will be different.

“At any time, from anywhere and at the distance of a simple click, this will be the Festival of Butelo and Casulas and Carnaval dos Caretos 2021 which, intending to counter the obstacles and difficulties created by Covid-19, has reinvented itself”, the municipality of Bragança said, according to local media. 

From February 1 to February 16, “it is through a set of online initiatives that the municipality of Bragança promotes the Butelo and Casulas Festival and the Caretos Carnival in 2021, with the primary objective of supporting, within the possibilities amid the current pandemic situation, the local producers and to continue to dynamise the brigantine culture and traditions,” according to the municipality of Bragança.

The festival that promotes the typical butelo sausage will count with the participation of 17 producers from the municipality of Bragança.

In addition to butelo and chasuble, producers will also be selling other regional smoked sausages, such as chorizo, and other local products, lincluding olive oil, honey and regional handicrafts.

The Bragança local council revealed that it invested 14,000 euros in this online event, which will also provide people with the opportunity to learn how to make some dishes based on local products.

The traditional masked people who usually run around the streets during Carnival, the Caretos, will also be present digitally, through workshops, aimed mainly at children, who can learn how to make the traditional masks.

The online Carnival festivities end on February 16, with actor André Gago discussing “The Role of the Mask in the Theatre”, in the “Dialogues with Art” initiative, to be broadcast on the municipality’s Facebook page.