The 600 years of the discovery of Madeira serve as motif for a parade with 1,900 people.
According to some historians the origins of Carnival in Madeira date back to the 16th century. Slavery and the expansion of sugar trade across the Atlantic lie at the roots of this festivity which, according to historian Alberto Vieira, brought a ‘mix of pagan, European and African traditions’.
In spite of that, Carnival only became part of the region’s official tourism calendar in 1980.
This year’s parade, set for 8 p.m. on March 2nd, will be the biggest ever. There will be 14 troupes and 1,900 revellers parading down Avenida Arriaga and Avenida do Mar. The motif is the 600 years of the discovery of Madeira, being commemorated throughout the year.
The following day, on March 3rd, entertainment will move to the central area of Avenida Arriaga, with a show starting 9 p.m. Shrove Tuesday sees the more comical Trapalhão parade take to the streets.
This year’s edition of the festivity also sees added entertainment activities for children lasting for two days more than what was usual in previous years, between March 1st and 10th.
According to a survey by the Regional Directorate for Tourism together with the Tourism Observatory, 84% of respondents recommend Carnival in Madeira.
Activities and entertainment in downtown Funchal - from February 26 to March 10
Allegorical Parade: March 2, at 8:00 p.m.
Court Trapalhão: March 5, at 3:00 p.m.
Other initiatives that include the Carnival poster:
Children's Carnival - March 1
Theme Parties - Night of the Hippies and Night of the transvestites, among others.