The world is full of different religions and customs. We often find the neighboring country’s personal customs quite surprising, the same applies to them and there are times when one of us gets offended by the other. Now, in the Portuguese town of Val de Salgueiro, which is located at 450 km from the country’s capital Lisbon has survived a very strange tradition.
Coming to the facts, Val de Salgueiro is a village that is far from modern or at least medieval civilization and here its people still live according to ancient customs. No one knows exactly where the roots of childhood smoking come from in the celebration of Epiphany Day.
When asked about this, the local residents said that this practice was inherited from immemorial times, and is connected with Christian baptism and the winter solstice. Their ancestors did the same and so they continue the tradition. Backing this, the parents of these days even buy cigarettes for their minor children and encourage them to smoke.
The legal age to buy tobacco in Portugal is 18 years, but nothing prohibits parents from buying cigarettes to their children, so the authorities do not interfere in this practice. Similarly, like Portugal, many countries, has taken steps to reduce smoking, including a partial ban on smoking indoors and in public places. But the tendency of children smoking still exists.
The festival is a two-day celebration. Day one begins with the mass and continues with the festivities, which are danced around bonfires, and enjoyed with music, wine, and snacks. At the end, the chosen “King” is presented.
When interrogation is done on this, Mateus, a 35-year-old local store owner, cited that the custom as the reason he allows his daughters to smoke.
“I do not see any harm in this because they do not really smoke, they just breathe and exhale the smoke immediately,” said Mateus, “and it’s just these days, today and tomorrow, the other days, they do not ask for cigarettes.”
These words from the parent himself reveal that the customs are more important than the health of the children in Val de Salgueiro which requires some serious concerns.
Well, what do you think? Should traditions be given more importance than the health of children? that’s an absolute NO! and let us wait and see how long does it take for these people to realize this.