One of the island’s most curious festas, the Madeira Onion Festival takes place at the end of May in celebration of this humble vegetable. The main attraction is Sunday’s parade which is opened by local officials including the town’s president. Floats and tractors are decorated on all sides with onions and the Philharmonic Band of Caniço and Eiras will be in attendance to provide a fitting soundtrack to the procession. The festival is a great chance to taste some local delicacies, join in the traditional dancing with Caniço residents and watch the famed onion auction.
The Onion Festival, known locally as the Festa do Cebollas, takes place annually at the end of May in the small town of Caniço in the district of Santa Cruz. If you’re planning to attend this unique local celebration, fly into the island’s main transport hub, Madeira Airport, which is served by several UK airlines including Jet2, Monarch Airlines and Thomson Airlines. From the airport, which is approximately 8 miles from the island’s capital of Funchal, you can get on a local bus to Caniço or take the Aerobus to Funchal if you’d like to spend some time there first.
The procession starts at Padre Lomelino Square in front of the church at around 8pm on the Friday. The main activities tend to start each afternoon, giving you plenty of time to recover from any excesses of Madeiran punch the previous evening. Sunday’s parade commences at 4pm and the stageshow and local bands providing entertainment until 11pm. Please have a look at the programme on the local council’s website to find out more about the itinerary of events. May is a great month to visit Madeira as it signals the end of the island’s rainy season and the beginning of the long, balmy evenings. The average temperature is around 20 degrees celsius so make sure you pack your sunscreen.
Where to stay in Madeira for the Onion Festival
Get the most of your visit to these beautiful Atlantic islands by staying in the perfect rental accommodation for you. Book with Eventful Stays and you can choose to stay in rural cottages, apartments, bed and breakfasts, studios or on all types of boats…all close to Caniço via public transport. Check out our accommodation in Madeira.
While you’re in Madeira, make sure you find time to see some of the amazing sights on this beautiful island, such as Pico do Arieiro and Ponta de Sao Lourenco. Take a trip up to Cabo Girao to check out an amazing view of the Madeira Islands.
To find out more information about this unique festival, please contact the municipal region’s official website where you’ll be able to check out the schedule of events, find out more about the history of the festival and find out the 2017 dates for the Madeira Onion Festival.
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