Madeira throws one of the best carnivals in Europe, drawing inspiration from the iconic Rio Carnival as well as its own rich history of festive traditions. For a full eight days, the streets of Funchal, the island’s capital, are filled with music, colour and celebration. The festivities start with a traditional festival, the Festa dos Compadres, followed by one of the most popular events on the Saturday - an amazing Float Parade featuring over a thousand performers on elaborately decorated vehicles, samba dancing their way through the crowds to Praça do Município. Shrove Tuesday brings with it the traditional trapalhão parade which is a chance for participants to make fun of the year’s events and key figures.
Madeira Carnival takes place from 22nd to 28th February 2017 in Funchal, the capital of the main island. There are activities taking place throughout the entire eight days with the key events being the Float Parade on Saturday 25th and the Trapalhão on the 28th. Both of these events end up in the main square, Praça do Município, where celebrations continue to the early hours. Most of the carnival events are free of charge, although there may be some which carry an entry fee, such as the Gala Ball on Shrove Tuesday. If you’re planning to attend this vibrant event, head to Madeira Airport, the main airport on the island.
If you’re in Madeira for Shrove Tuesday, you’ll inevitably find yourself eating a few malasadas. The equivalent of the tradition of eating pancakes in the UK, Madeira residents originally made these fried confectioneries to use up all the remaining food in the cupboards to get ready for Lent. They take the form of delicious warm doughnuts and you’ll see plenty of stalls selling them around Carnival. The tradition has been exported to Hawaii where the tasty balls are filled with custard and chocolate.
Make the most of your visit to one of Spain’s best carnivals by staying in the perfect rental accommodation for you. At Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in rustic fincas, grand apartments, convenient studios or top-of-the-range bed and breakfasts…all within easy reach of the carnival festivities via public transport or hire car.
While you’re on this beautiful Atlantic island, make sure you find time to see some of its spectacular sights, including: Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Cabo Girao and the Monte Palace Tropical Garden in Funchal.
To find out more information about the carnival, please look at the Madeira Tourism Board’s official website, where you’ll be able to check out all of the events taking place during the carnival and download the official programme.
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