Portugal - Madeira Island Most Famous Festivals

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Carnival Festivities
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One of the biggest street parties in Europe, featuring the island’s best samba bands and troupes dancing through the streets in dazzling costumes. The party continues throughout the weekend and concludes on Tuesday with the amazing Trapalhão parade.
Flower Festival
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The main streets of Funchal’s centre displayes a myriad of flowers and colours. On the eve of the Sunday street parade, thousands of children build a ‘Wall of Hope’, made of thousands of flowers. Other activities during this time include the making of flower carpets in the streets, folklore performances, flower shows, classical music concerts and variety shows.
Medieval Market
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This event is held in June at the historic town of Machico, in which celebrates the discovery of Machico through a series of sixteenth-century costumed enactments, horseback events, fire eaters, acrobats, open-air theatre and live music.
Atlantic Festival
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This an exciting annual event that combines entertainment and culture. Every Saturday night in June, contestants from different countries organise magnificent firework displays in harmony with accompanying music as part of the International Fireworks Competition.
Festival of the Popular Saints
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This is one of the most beloved festivals in Madeira. Dedicated to three saints, traditional parades fill the brightly decorated streets of Funchal and there is plenty of music, bonfires and food stalls. Santo António is the saint of love and many marriages take place during this time. São João – the patron saint of Porto Santo – is honoured with candle-lit balloons. São Pedro is the protector of fishermen.
Sea Week
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It's an event at Porto Moniz village, which is famous for its natural lava rock pools and dramatic seascape. In the end of July, there are held sea games, open water raft and barrel races and other competitions with teams of entrants coming from all over the island. There are also plenty of stalls selling a wide selection of food from snacks to full meals.
Madeira Wine Festival
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This Festival is held in September during the main period of grape harvesting. In the centre of Funchal, this Festival includes light, sound and folk shows, all related to wine-making traditions, and many stands serve typical Madeiran food and drink specialities.
Market Night
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After the mass of the 23rd night, the Old Town of Funchal transforms itself into a massive all-night market. The market is filled with shoppers picking up fresh products for the days ahead while the streets are lined with bars and eateries tempting everyone to enjoy in a little late night feasting and drinking while listening to Christmas Carols, it is a time where everyone gets to meet up with friends and family before Christmas in a little outdoor celebration.
Madeira New Year’s Eve
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The highlight of this festivities is the spectacular fireworks display, set off from approximately 50 posts, that illuminates the skies all over Funchal and lasts for about 12 minutes. This is a truly unforgettable event, which brings back a multitude of visitors to the island every year.
Cherimoya Fruit Festival
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This a traditional festival celebrated in Faial, Santana. This event celebrates one of the most popular and widely cultivated fruits of this region 'Anona' (also known as Custard-apple or Cherimoya). Visitors can enjoy great entertainment, traditional food and drink specialities.
Regional Sugar Cane Fair
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Sugarcane was initially planted in Madeira around 1450, and by 1455 with dwindling grain production. As such the Regional Sugar Cane Fair, held in Ponta do Sol, honours Madeira’s ‘sweet salt’ past through the making of sugarcane delicacies including cakes, drinks as well as giving visitors the opportunity to cut cane and enjoy the ‘sweet’ delicacies on offer.
Regional Arts Week
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Situated in various locations throughout the centre of Funchal, this festival showcases the artistic skills of Madeira’s schoolchildren, which encompasses dance, drama, theatre, music including instrumental and traditional concerts, art including mixed media, collage, using recycled products and impressionist work.
Festival of Wine, Embroidery & Handicrafts of Madeira
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The Festival is a celebration of Madeira’s unique crafts and winemaking traditions. Learn more about Madeiran embroidery, tapestry and ceramic tile painting by participating in workshops, or simply enjoy wine tasting, wine auctions, exhibitions of beautiful embroidery and live entertainment for three days. This event is held on Rua 5 de Outubro, Funchal.
Madeira Island Ultra Trail
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Is a mountain race across the island, which started in 2008 with only 141 adventurers and has now over 2,000 participants from more than 30 different nationalities. Along 115 km, from northwest to southeast, this unique and challenging experience starts at sea level, in Porto Moniz, crossing the island’s best tracks and highest peaks to end again at sea level, with the finish line in Machico.
Limpet festival
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For three days in July, this festival is a tribute to the limpets harvested in the rocky shores around Paul do Mar, which are an important part of the local economy. Visitors can admire picturesque ocean views while enjoying one of the favourite local dishes – grilled lapas with garlic butter and lemon.

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