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{SPEAKER name="Jeanne Porterfield "}
The carriages and costumes of this colorful cort├Ęge all date from the 17th century.


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The Portuguese bull fight is different from others, as it's against the law to kill the bull. Also, his horns are covered with a heavy leather padding which in turn protects the horse.

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The Caballero must place small darts on the insensitive part of the bull's neck and at the same time keep his horse clear of the charging beast.

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Sometimes when the bull gets unnervingly near the horse, a 'Cape Man' leaps into divert him, but, not for long.

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After the final pass of the afternoon, cows lead the furious bull docily out of the ring, with nothing hurt but his ego.

{SILENCE}

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After the excitement of the bull fight, we relaxed a bit before continuing on.

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Driving along, we noticed that the women carry almost everything on their heads - from the more expected to the completely unexpected.

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But the most remarkable sight of all was this:

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These elaborate towers are the main attraction of the Festival of the Trays which takes place only once every four years. Here in the usually tranquil town of Tomar, thousands have gathered from all parts of Europe for the event.

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Made of paper flowers interspersed with loaves of freshly baked bread, each tray weighs thirty pounds and must be as tall as the girl who carries it.

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Every girl is accompanied by a boy to help her should her tray fall and together they parade all through town.
This procession originated in pagan times, for when the Romans were here 2000 years ago it was already a custom.
Everyone watches in wide-eyed wonder.

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