Carnaval da Madeira (part 1)

The Carnival of Madeira (Carnaval in Portuguese) is an annual festival held forty days before Easter, that ends on Shrove Tuesday (called Fat Tuesday in Madeira/Terça-feira Gorda in Portuguese) the day before Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent). On certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry, hence the term “carnival,” from carnelevare, “to remove (literally, “raise”) meat.”

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 first is the Allegorical Parade with thousands of participants in beautiful, colorful and sophisticated costumes dancing to the captivating samba music. This famous parade takes place on the Saturday of the Carnival weekend. This requires enormous commitment and organization from all groups and people involved. Numerous samba groups with thousands of participants in wonderful and colorful costumes dance to the electrifying samba music through the streets of Funchal. The party starts at Avenida Sá Carneiro, dancing until the end of Avenida do Mar. But this is not the end of the ceremony. There is no curfew and the party lasts all night !! This carnival undoubtedly evokes the world-famous carnival in Rio, Brazil with its costumes and enthusiastic rhythms.

Carnival is an explosion of contagious joy! Me and Stella were very lucky to participate in this annual parade !! Yes, we were also among a thousand laughing people dancing samba, dressed in feathers and not thinking about anything other than here and now 🙂

What’s more, from the beginning of January we helped in the preparation of the costumes of our entire group. We spent a lot of hours sticking diamonds and colorful stones .. And how many times have we burned our fingers with hot glue !! But it was worth it. Every hour, every burned finger, each not eaten by forgetting dinner. Really worth. The Carnival of Madeira is an amazing experience to be experienced.

Aleksandra Lelenthal
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European solidarity corpus  
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