VALE DE SALGUEIRO, Portugal (AP) — The Epiphany celebrations in the Portuguese village of Vale de Salgueiro feature a tradition that each year causes an outcry among outsiders: Parents encouraging their children, some as young as 5, to smoke cigarettes.Kinda makes me wonder about other revered traditions that Christians and others of other persuasions DO claim certainty about. Is crucifixion or enlightenment really good for you? Who says so and why? It's a funny old world.
Locals say the practice has been passed down for centuries as part of a celebration of life tied to the Christian Epiphany and the winter solstice — but nobody is sure what it symbolizes or exactly why parents buy the packs of cigarettes for their children and encourage them to take part.