- Madeira Carnival 2013
- 06.02.2013 - 13.02.2013
- Funchal -
- Island Event
Carnival of Madeira 2013
The Carnival of Madeira is an annual festival held forty days before Easter, that ends on Shrove Tuesday (called Fat Tuesday in Madeira) the day before Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent).
Traditionally the people of Madeira eat Malasadas on Terça-feira Gorda (Shrove Tuesday), the reason for making malasadas was to use up all the lard and sugar in the house, in preparation for Lent (much in the same way the tradition of Pancake Day in the UK originated on Shrove Tuesday), Malasadas are sold along side the carnival parades.
One of the first major festivals of the year in Madeira, apart from the Dia dos Reis, the Madeira carnival is known as one of the best in Europe. Traditionally there are two main Carnival parades in Madeira, which are very different from each other. The allegoric parade, which takes place always on the Saturday of the Carnival weekend, is the more sophisticated one and needs a great deal of commitment and organisation from all the groups and the people involved. Numerous Samba groups with thousands of participants in magnificent and colourful costumes dance to electrifying Samba music through the streets of Funchal, spreading an ambiance evoking the Rio Carnival.
The second parade, called ‘trapalhão’, is older and used to occur all over the island, now it floods the streets of the city centre with thrilling joy on Terça-feira Gorda, ending the Carnival period. In this parade everybody can take part and the – sometimes quite daring – costumes and depicted caricatures are left to the participants’ own imagination.
Both parades have a defined itinerary in the city centre and end at the Municipal Square (Praça do Município) where more entertainment with live music and costume competitions is provided.
At least one month before the Carnival peak time the best-known and established Carnival groups visit the hotels and entertain the guests with dance and music performances.
Each year, the Regional Secretariat for Culture, Tourism and Transport (SRT) promotes this well-known touristic event, which highlight is the Carnival Parade, related to a certain theme, determined by the stated entity. The Carnival Parade 2012, the carnival groups will give wings to their imagination under the motto: “The Zodiac Signs”.
The Carnival Parade 2012 will have 7 float groups participating, with their own allegoric cars and an opening vehicle. The exit order of the parade and the topics are:
- "God's Feast" - João Egídio Rodrigues
- "Aquarium Fish" - Escola de Samba Caneca Furada
- "Zodiac commemorates Geringonça 25th Anniversary" - Associação de Animação Geringonça
- "Poetry Madness, Cancer vs. Gemini, tribute to Amália vs. António Mourão" - Associação Fura Samba
- "Virgo vs Libra signs" - "Os Cariocas" School of Samba
- "Libra and Scorpio" - Fábrica de Sonhos
- "Sagittarius & Capricorn" - Veteranos da Folia
- "Nature´s four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water" - Turma do Funil
From February the 15th, Funchal is the stage for the Carnival festivities, providing to resident and travelers, moments of great entertainment, background music, lights and decoration, related to this period.
Photos: Ricardo J. Santos
Funchal is the largest city, the municipal seat and the capital of Portugal's Autonomous Region of Madeira. The city has a population of 100,526 and has been the capital of Madeira for more than five centuries. Funchal is located inside a natural amphitheater-shaped valley, with gentle slopes beginning at the coast which rise to 1200 meters, that provided a natural shelter for early settlers. In addition to the urbanized area, the municipality includes the Ilhas Selvagens (English: Savage Islands, a nature reserve located 160 km (100 mi) south of the capital.
The urbanized core of the city of Funchal includes several of the civil parishes that surround the municipality (Câmara de Lobos, Santa Cruz, Machico and Ribeira Brava), and includes a population of 150,000 inhabitants (representing the largest city outside mainland Portugal. The municipality itself is a grouping of several smaller administrative entities, that includes Funchal, Câmara de Lobos, Caniço and Santa Cruz, located along the southern coast of Madeira. Funchal is a cosmopolitan and panoramic city, with parks, shops and hotels.
The harbour of Funchal is the busiest in Madeira. Cruise ships, boats and yachts call there, as it has been for many years, being also the second busiest one in Portugal, after Lisbon. A highway provides access to Câmara de Lobos and Ribeira Brava to the west, and Santa Cruz and Machico to the east. Madeira Airport, often known as Funchal Airport/Madeira/Santa Catarina Airport (code: FNC), is located east of the city, in the municipality of Santa Cruz. The airport was one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to the limited flat space in close proximity to cliffs, but the extension of the runway on concrete pillars in the sea has improved safety.
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