Children as young as five are encouraged to smoke cigarettes by their parents for a Christian celebration.
The village of Vale de Salgueiro in Portugal causes outcry each year when it makes children light up for a tradition that defies reason.
Locals say the practice is centuries-old, but nobody is sure what it symbolises or why parents make their children take part.
It forms part of the town’s Epiphany celebrations, which signals the official end of Christmas.
The legal age to buy tobacco in Portugal is 18, but no laws stop parents giving cigarettes to their children.
And Portuguese authorities will not intervene to stop the harmful tradition.
Guilhermina Mateus, a 35-year-old coffee shop owner, said she doesn’t see the harm in it as she gave her daughter a cigarette.
Ms Mateus said: ‘I don’t see any harm in that because they don’t really smoke, they inhale and immediately exhale.’
The two-day celebrations, which ended on Saturday with a Mass, include dancing around bonfires, a piper playing music and an elected ‘king’ who dishes out snacks and wine.
Jose Ribeirinha, who’s written books on the tradition, believes the relative seclusion of the remote village has helped keep the tradition alive.
The village is 450 kilometres (280 miles) northeast of Lisbon.
He said the surrounding Tras os Montes region ‘has always been the furthest from Lisbon, the most “forgotten one”.’
Portugal, like many countries, has taken steps to reduce smoking, including a partial ban on smoking indoors.