Although the Government decreed that this year there was no time off for civil servants at Carnival, there are many municipalities that give their employees Tuesday off- not least because the day is scheduled as a holiday in most public worker's labor contracts - but they are asking residents to stay at home and watch online celebrations. In the village of Pitões das Júnias, in Montalegre (Vila Real), caretos and farrapões, instead of roaming the streets, will parade “online”: the population was invited to dress up, take a photo and compete in the “Caretos e Farrapões à Pitões” costume contest until Tuesday. The photographs will be displayed on the parish council's website and Facebook, which will award prizes to the three most popular.
In Macedo de Cavaleiros (Bragança), the Caretos de Podence celebrate the Entrudo Chocalheiro at home, on the veranda. On Tuesday, starting at 5:30 pm, the “Sentir Portugal” ceremony (without an audience at the venue) will be broadcast online, and the day ends with the burning of the Entrudo, which this year symbolically “burns” the coronavirus, the cause of the covid-19 pandemic.
Also in Amares (Braga), the Carnival organization challenged the population to “reinvent” the festivities, decorating windows and balconies with masks or other motifs associated with the Entrudo. In Viseu, in the small village of Lazarim (Lamego), caretos (traditional masks carved in wood) cannot walk freely in the streets, but will be on display at the door of each of the residents. Carnival will also be different in Cabanas de Viriato (Carregal do Sal), where the organisation asks the inhabitants to dress up and do the traditional “dance of the cus” as a family, filming so that the neighbours can interact through social networks.
Still in the center of the country, the Carnival corsesses from Estarreja, Ovar and Mealhada, in Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, in Coimbra, and Torres Vedras, in Lisbon, will not take place, although several initiatives are planned, according to Carnival Cities Network in the Center Region. In Torres Vedras, for example, several associations created the "Carnaval em Casa" movement, moving several celebfrations to digital platforms (www.carnavalemcasa.pt), and, to mark the absence of "matrafonas" in the streets, the municipality inaugurated, on Friday, the monument "The Mask", a tribute to all professionals who work on the front line in preventing and fighting the pandemic, which will be displayed for a month in the city center.
In Guarda, Carnival is also marked with ‘online’ initiatives and the traditional Judgment of the Rooster, “with the necessary adaptations, may be integrated into an eventual summer program”, according to the local Chamber. The Proença-a-Nova Chamber (Castelo Branco) appeals to the creativity of the participants by decorating disposable surgical masks, whose photographs are published on the municipality's social networks. The three most voted will receive vouchers to use in the county's restaurants.
In addition to virtual activities, this year Loures celebrates Carnival “by the window”, an initiative that has already taken place on Sunday and should be repeated on Tuesday. The Câmara de Loures asked the approximately 2,500 extras from last year's Carnival and people in general to dress up, decorate the balconies and come to the window to participate in the party. Further south, in Sesimbra, one of the municipalities where Carnival has a lot of tradition, the festivity will only be marked with online and streaming celebrations from samba schools and groups.
The closure of the restaurant and commerce due to the covid-19 is still criticised by the businessmen of Elvas (Portalegre), who consider the cancellation of the International Carnival of Elvas another “grain of sand in the gear” of the crisis, since this was a time where “thousands of people” visited the municipality, according to the local Business Association. Also the Mayor of Loulé (Faro), Vítor Aleixo, stressed that the lack of thousands of annual visitors to the biggest Carnival in the Algarve will have a great impact “on hotel accommodation”, on “local restaurants and shops”. This year Loulé celebrates Carnival without floats or bands to parade, but “a bus with an entertainer” will circulate through the main streets, which will be decorated.
In Madeira, the regional government canceled the entire Carnival program and tourist poster and, to prevent parties and gatherings, changed the confinement rules “all week”, with the closing of commercial activities at 5 pm and a curfew at 18:00. In the Azores, the dances and dances of Carnaval in Terceira, which were part of the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Portugal in 2020, were canceled, as were all festivities. Despite the cancellation of Carnival, commercial establishments will operate normally today and on Tuesday, but restaurants and bars close at 3pm and there is a ban on traffic between 8pm and 5am. With the exception of private sector employees with collective labor contracts that contain a clause that defines Carnival Tuesday as a holiday, the remaining Azores workers will not be entitled to layoffs on that day.