On December 26, Saint Stephen day (the saint that brings this pagan festivity to the catholic realm), four young men wearing hats and colorful scarfs start the day by knocking on the houses at Ousilhão, a small village in the northeastern corner of Portugal. They’re followed by the sound of drums and bagpipes, and are welcomed by the homeowners with a table full of treats and drinks, the young men then sing and dance asking small a gift for the saint. Throughout the morning masked people wearing red clothes randomly start joining this procession, doing small pranks and enjoying the delicacies served at each house.
The morning ends with everyone gathering by the church for the mass, where a table with offerings is already set. They are joined by that year’s “king” and his two “vassals”, those who have been in charge of organizing the festivities, wearing decorated their paper crowns, waiting to attend the mass. The masked ones wait outside, the church is totally out of bounds for them. Right after, the new “king” and “vassals” are crowned and a decorated ox car pulled by the masked ones awaits for them, a procession with everyone gathered will carry them to where the celebration will end, where a bonfire is being prepared and another table is set to end the day eating and drinking.