10 Madeira Island Events and Festivals not to be missed
Madeira, an island full of Events and Festivities
Madeira Island - the famous Pearl of the Atlantic - is known not only for its breath-taking landscapes and its extremely hospitable population but also for its unique events, some of which are known worldwide. From the most traditional to the most contemporary, entertainment is always guaranteed, so we've selected 9 Madeira Island events and festivals taking place throughout the year, especially for you. Do you know any of them? Check them out!
1. Madeira Carnival -
Madeira's Carnival is
considered by many to be one of the biggest in Europe. This street party brings
the energy of Rio de Janeiro to the island's capital, taking place over the
course of a week. The parades usually begin on Saturdays, accompanied by bands
and samba schools, responsible for the colours and revelry at this time of
year. The end of this great party takes place on a Tuesday, the so-called
"Fat Tuesday", with the "Trapalhão" parade (Clumbsy Parade,
in english). This is an event full of music and animation.
2. Atlantic Festival in Madeira - June
The Atlantic Festival in Madeira marks the beginning of the summer season in the island and includes, this year, a diversified set of initiatives spread throughout the month of June, with the pyrotechnic and musical shows, the Madeira Music Festival and the Regional Arts Week.
3. Madeira's Lapa Festival -
Paúl do Mar - July
It is during the month of July that Lapa Festival is traditionally celebrated. This festival takes place over three days and is based on honouring the limpets harvested from the rock formations of Paúl do Mar. These limpets are considered a delicacy of great relevance, representing an important element for the local economy. All those who pass by this event will have the opportunity to enjoy the delicious grilled limpets with butter, lemon and garlic - one of the region's favourite dishes. This tasting is accompanied by a stunning view of the sea, traditional dances and live bands.
4. Folklore Festival - August
Madeiran folklore is a vital cultural symbol of the island and is therefore celebrated annually in the picturesque town of Ponta do Sol. This festival is considered an all-encompassing event as it motivates everyone - children and adults - to perform together with the groups. Another interesting aspect is that it not only celebrates regional folklore, but also national and international, thus bringing together various European dance groups that, in harmony, create a festive atmosphere, rich in rhythms and sounds.
5. Flower Festival in Madeira - May
With the arrival of spring, the city of Funchal is transformed into a floral stage full of enchantment with the Flower Festival in Madeira. This magical event begins on Saturday morning with the Children's Parade, in which hundreds of children, dressed appropriately, parade to Praça do Município to create a beautiful mural of flowers, symbolically called the "Wall of Hope".
On Sunday afternoon, the streets of Funchal downtown are once again invaded by music, colour and soft perfumes with a sumptuous parade of floats, which harmoniously combine multiple floral species with decorations full of creativity.
6. Wine Festival in Madeira - October
The Wine Festival in Madeira is a tribute to the old
habits of the island population, from the beginning of the settlement of the
island, around the production of this precious nectar. In the centre of
Funchal, there are various allegorical shows of light, sound and folklore
alluding to wine and the grape harvest. In the parish of Estreito de Câmara de
Lobos, the party starts with a live grape harvest. The picking of the grapes,
the parades of the grape pickers, the treading of the grapes and all the rest
of the ritual of the typical Madeiran festival are moments experienced with
enthusiasm by all those who attend the festivities.
7. Stars Route - November
Of the most recent events on this list, the
"Stars Route" was created in 2010 and brings together renowned
national and international chefs who have been awarded with Michelin stars.
This event, one of the most important nationally, usually takes place at Il
Gallo D'Oro, the only restaurant on the island with the prestigious Michelin
star. The programme involves dinners, international guests, show cooks, guided
tours to the production sites of the great regional delicacies and, of course,
the wine tasting sessions could not be missed.
8. Christmas Festivities - December
It is with the inauguration of the decorative
illuminations in the streets of Funchal downtown, during the month of December,
that the programme of Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations begins. At this
time of year, Funchal presents itself as a veritable nativity scene of real
proportions, with its streets decorated with multicoloured flowers and lights,
which make up figures alluding to the season. In the streets and squares, music
is contagious through concerts, performances by philharmonic bands and folklore
groups. There are also many Christmas exhibitions, authentic pictures of
Madeiran traditions. The traditional Market Night Festival is held on the 23rd
of December, where Madeirans take the opportunity to do their last Christmas
shopping and where they can taste the various traditional delicacies and drinks
of the season.
9. New Year Eve's in Madeira - December
After the Christmas celebrations, the entertainment
continues, in anticipation of the New Year's Eve festivities in Madeira with
the famous firework display, officially recognised by the Guinness Book of
Records, in 2006, as the largest firework display in the world. The fireworks
that light up the New Year's Eve are launched from around 50 posts spread along
the coast. It is indeed a unique event, which attracts thousands of visitors
10. Cantar os Reis - January
We end this list with an event full of melody, the
"Cantar os Reis" (Sing the Kings, translating literally into
English). It is a Madeiran festivity celebrated on the 12th night after
Christmas. Within the circle of events, open air concerts are held all over the
island, namely in Ribeira Brava, Câmara de Lobos as well as in the auditorium
of the Municipal Garden of Funchal. This event follows the long-standing
tradition of groups of people wandering the streets at night, singing and
playing Christmas carols.
Guarantee your participation in Madeira Island's events and festivals, in the company of Dom Pedro Madeira, we are waiting for you! All these events, specific dates and more, may be consulted on the official website of Madeira Tourism.