Every year, in February or March, it is "Carnaval" time. In Terceira, throughout four consecutive days, the inhabitants gather at theatres around the island to witness and acclaim the "Bailinhos de Carnaval" or "Danças de Espada".
"Bailinhos" are actually spoken and sung comedies that follow a trend to satirize aspects or events of national interest, with certain people or dignitaries in the island, the archipelago or in the country being mocked at. The action is set at a rapid pace by an accompanying band and singers who use percussion instruments and loud whistles.
"Danças de Espada" follow a different style, they usually tell a drama based on historical or familiar scenes of the past. Actors don XVIII century costumes with the action being set at a slow pace. There are also singers, classic guitar players and brass instruments.
Around 50 different dances visit every parish and both city theatres around the island in these days, starting at lunch time, often succeeding each others well until the early hours of the next morning.
For samples of these, please visit the following (no translation available):