In the city of Barbalha, on the brazilian northeast, there´s a tradition around Saint Anthony´s day that a great tree is put down, dried out for fifteen days and then, on a sunday, it is carried from its "craddle" to the city´s church. The "carregadores", carriers of the tree, are people form the local community that earned this status - the right to carry the log - from their parents or from close friends that are/were also "carregadores". The process of moving the tree begins early in the morning and goes on for the whole day; the distance from the craddle to the church is around seven kilometers.
Before the carriers begin to move the tree, they play around in fighting each other, putting each other down and throwing sand at whoever is brought down. They drink heavily and consume other kinds of intoxicating substances.
At the end of the day, the "carregadores" are exhausted; some of them hurt. The tree is then lifted up and the ritual is complete.
All images © FERNANDO JORGE SILVa