Maypole ( Festa do Mastro ) *Ongoing
The forest is filled with a sense of masculinity and determination near Penafiel, Portugal every year on July 25, as a group of men comb through the woods in search of the perfect tree to chop down.
Known as Festa do Mastro or Mast Party, the tradition collects men from the village of Fonte de Arcada and summons those who have migrated abroad to return and take part in the fraternal celebration.
Passed down from generation to generation, the rituals have generally remained unchanged. According to popular beliefs, the tree should be large and sturdy—over 30 meters long.
For the villagers, this ancestral ritual of handling and carrying the mast up to St. Dominic’s Hill —the final destination where it will be hoisted upright — is symbolic of male strength and vitality.