Lisbon, Portugal (ViaNews) – The world has long got used to seeing Angela Merkel properly dressed as the German Chancellor, but in the town of Torres Vedras, in Portugal, the scenario is a little bit different. Merkel is represented as a mermaid, with a big green tail and two blue shells covering the chest.
“The wrath of Neptune” is the name of the Monument to this Portuguese Carnival that can be found in the centre of the town. The German leader is depicted with a serious face while trying to master the Portuguese people, here represented by Luís de Camões, one of the most important Portuguese poets of the 16th century.
The Carnival in Torres Vedras is known for its satirical element. Each year, the event focuses on the political and economic situation of the country, the EU, and the rest of the world. This year, The ruler of the Ocean, Neptune, is grabbing Donald Trump, depicted in a shark’s body, to prevent him to harass other international leaders.
Kim Jong-un, the North-Korean leader and Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, are also in a shark’s body, with a fork and knife on their hands, ready to gobble the world.
This is one of the biggest Monuments to the city’s Carnival ever, with 12 feet tall and 14 meters wide. It is made of 2 tons of fibreglass, 10 tons of iron, and it needed 8 trucks full of polystyrene. It took 3 months to be built by a team of 16 people.
Two of the eight floats that will colour the streets during the Carnival parades are also dedicated to some of the most important international political figures. It is made to represent a food chain: the Portuguese people are followed by António Costa, the Portuguese Prime-Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, and Angela Merkel. Following them is Donald Trump using the Treaty of Paris as toilet paper.
Around 350 thousand people are expected to visit the city during the celebrations that take part from the 9th to the 14th of February. The program starts with a parade that will take 6900 children to the main streets of the city this Friday. The party goes on for 6 days and 5 nights, with highlights like the night parade and the Masquerade Group Contest on Saturday, 10th of February, the night parade on Monday, 12th, and the daily parades on Sunday and Tuesday, 11th and 13th.
“Seas and Oceans” is the theme of this year’s edition that has a budget of 680 thousand euros.
The event was awarded the National Medal of Tourism Merit, an award that recognizes its importance in the frames of the tourism in the country. Studies realized in 2013, 2014 and 2015 state that the local economic impact is around 9 million euros.
The Carnival festivities in Torres Vedras are one of the oldest in Portugal. Nowadays, this is even called “the most Portuguese Carnival of Portugal”, because it keeps old traditions that passed on from generation to generation making it different from what’s made in other places.
Here people not only stand on the sidewalks watching the parades: during 6 days, age, social class, job and religion don’t matter because everybody wears a mask and get into the spirit of joy and happiness, where everybody is equal. Everyone is invited to take part in this 6 days event to join the people from Torres Vedras in what is their most important event.