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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 - February

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 every year.

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.

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