The Festa da Anona, or festival of the custard apple, is a local celebration which takes place in the beautiful village of Faial in Northern Madeira. The area is abundant in anona and in order to spread the word about the delights of this unique fruit, the village puts on an annual exhibition featuring a parade and live music. Held since 1990, hundreds of farmers gather to show the public just what the custard apple is capable of - a tasty ingredient in milkshakes, juices, puddings and of course some delicious alcoholic liqueurs, it seems the custard apple is an extremely versatile fruit. Join the festival and check out the competitions, traditional dancing and live entertainment.
The Festa da Anona takes place over two days in Faial on the north coast of Madeira in February/March each year. The festival is free to enter. The event officially opens at 6pm on the Saturday with music and dancing by local folklore groups which continues until 2am. The event starts again the next day with the judging of the fruit competitions, group aerobics and plenty of live music to keep you going until the early hours the next day. To get to the custard apple festival, fly in to Madeira International Airport. There are plenty of local buses to take you into Faisal.
For those of you not familiar with the custard apple, it originally hails from South America but is now quite common in Southern mediterranean countries such as Portugal and Spain. Also known as chirimoya, Mark Twain described it as ‘the most delicious fruit known to man’. It certainly has great health benefits, including a large amount of B6 and vitamin C. If you’ve never tried one, hop on a plane to the Custard Apple festival where you’ll have plenty to choose from!
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If you’re coming to Madeira for the chirimoya festival, make sure you stay long enough to see some of the amazing sights on this beautiful island, such as the peaks of Pico do Arieiro and Ponta de Sao Lourenco. Take a trip up to Cabo Girao to check out the gorgeous view of the Madeira Islands.
To find out more information about this great local festival, please contact the municipal region’s official website where you’ll be able to check out the programme of events, find out more about the history of the festival and find out the 2017 dates for the Madeira Anona Festival.
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