Red Waistcoat Festival

Red Waistcoat Festival

First or second weekend in July
The Festa do Colete Encarnado, or Red Waistcoat Festival, celebrates the campionos —the cowboys who watch over the bulls in the pasturelands of the Ribatejo in Portugal, and who traditionally wear red vests, green stocking caps, blue or black trousers, and red sashes. Supposedly the best bulls for bullfighting are those that have been allowed to roam freely in the vast, rich pastures for which this part of the country is famous, and bullfights play a big part in the festival. But unlike bullfighting elsewhere, no one gets hurt and it's against Portuguese law to kill the bull.
A highlight of the festival is the traditional running of the bulls through the streets of Vila Franca de Xira, which is about 20 miles from Lisbon. In addition to bullfighting, there are folk dances, fireworks, and various competitions for the campionos, including the Ribatejan fandango, a competitive dance for men only.
CONTACTS:
Portuguese National Tourist Office
590 Fifth Ave., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
800-767-8842 or 212-354-4403; fax: 212-764-6137
www.visitportugal.com
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 180
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 156
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 314