January

Cantar os Reis (Singing of the Kings) – Funchal – 5-6
Cantar os Reis is a charming Madeiran festival filled with carols and

songs, celebrated on the 12th night after Christmas. Traditionally,

troupes roamed the streets at night, singing and playing music from door

to door. Today, outdoor concerts are held all over the island including

Ribeira Brava, Câmara de Lobos and the auditorium in the Jardim

Municipal in Funchal. The lively traditional carols are performed by

local musical groups.

‘Santo Amaro’ Festival – Santa Cruz – 15
To commemorate the close of the Christmas season, ‘Santo Amaro’ is

celebrated throughout Madeira. Christmas delicacies are laid out on

every table as families share a final festive meal and take down

Christmas decorations, traditional lapinhas and nativity scenes.

Festivities in Santa Cruz include stalls, music and food, as well as a

candle-lit procession to the Igreja Matriz to honour the patron saint.

February

Madeira Carnival – February 11th to 18th 2015 (Main Parade 14th and Fun

Parade 17th)
One of the biggest street parties in Europe, Madeira’s Carnival evokes

the riotous spirit of Rio! The festivities begin on Saturday with an

elaborate parade through Funchal featuring the island’s best samba bands

and troupes dancing through the streets in dazzling costumes. The party

continues throughout the weekend and concludes on Shrove Tuesday with

the fantastic Trapalhão parade – when the streets are full of locals in

outlandish costumes. The music is contagious… put on your dancing shoes

and join the party!

Happy Valentine’s Day – 14th February
Valentine’s Day is a special day celebrated by many people throughout

the world. Escape on a romantic getaway to Madeira island, explorer

nature and enjoy some one-on-one time with your loved one.

Festival of Wine, Embroidery & Handicrafts of Madeira (Festival do Vinho

do Bordado e do Artesanato da Madeira)
The Festival of Wine, Embroidery & Handicrafts is a celebration of

Madeira’s unique crafts and winemaking traditions. Learn more about

Madeiran embroidery, tapestry and ceramic tile painting by participating

in workshops, or simply enjoy wine tasting, wine auctions, exhibitions

of beautiful embroidery and live entertainment over three days. This

event is hosted by the Madeira Wine Institute on Rua 5 de Outubro,

Funchal.

Festa dos Compadres – Santana
For about 50 years, Festa dos Compadres has signified the start of the

Carnival festivities in Madeira. Held in Santana, in the north-east of

the island, the town celebrates with a parade of decorated floats,

troupes in traditional costumes and musical entertainment. Actors

perform comic sketches about social and political issues, while giant

figurines are publicly ridiculed, judged and cheerfully burned. A

variety of stalls offer some of the island’s most famous gastronomic

specialities, including espetada and bolo do caco.

March

Festa da Anona (Cherimoya Fruit Festival) – Faial, Santana
Cherimoya Fruit Festival is a traditional festival celebrated in Fail,

Santana. This event celebrates one of the most popular and widely

cultivated fruits of this region „Anona” (also known as Custard-apple or

Cherimoya). Visitors can enjoy great entertainment, traditional food and

drink specialities.

April

Madeira Flower Festival – Funchal – Celebrations 16-22 (Parades 18-19)

2015
Every year, two weeks after Easter, Madeira’s flower-festival fills the

main streets of Funchal’s centre with floats displaying a myriad of

flowers and colours. On the eve before the street parade, thousands of

children gather in the Praça do Município where they build a ‘Wall of

Hope’, made of thousands of flowers. Other activities during this time

include the making of flower carpets in the streets, folklore

performances, flower shows, classical music concerts and variety shows.

Festival de Jardins do Funchal (Festival of the Gardens)
The Festival de Jardins do Funchal aims to promote Funchal’s beautiful

gardens, outdoor spaces and unique flora. Held in the Jardim Almirante

Reis in the historic centre of Funchal, local residents, gardeners,

artists and local businesses can take part by creating mini-gardens for

the community and holidaymakers to enjoy. Allocated lots are provided

free of charge by the Funchal Town Hall. Participants maintain this

community garden for 11 months and prizes are awarded at the end of the

festival.

Madeira Film Festival – (date to be announced)
Hotel Reid’s Palace and Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias

Cultural Festival (Book Fair) – Funchal –
Held under the beautiful jacaranda trees in Funchal’s Avenida Arriaga,

the annual Funchal Book Fair is a week-long event. Visitors can browse

through the stands representing local bookshops and Portuguese

publishing houses, or take part in events including book launches for

new releases, poetry sessions, literary seminars, entertainment for

children as well as exhibitions and live music performances. A great

selection of books are available for all ages.

May

Madeira Island Open (PGA European Tour)
The Madeira Island Open is one of two Portuguese golfing events on the

official PGA European Tour for men. All three golf courses in the

archipelago have hosted the event since 1993, including Santo da Serra

Golf Club and Porto Santo Golf Club in recent years. Each course is set

in a serene natural landscape with spectacular ocean views and lush

greens – perfect for championship golf!

Festa do Limão (Lemon Festival) Ilha – Santana
The annual Lemon Festival is celebrated in the town of Santana, in the

parish of Ilha. Local farmers proudly exhibit their produce and there

are plenty of stalls selling cakes and traditional food containing this

vital ingredient. The parish of Ilha produces about 90 tonnes of lemons

per year, which represents about 25% of the island’s production. The

Festa do Despique is also part of the festivities – a type of improvised

folk music accompanied by traditional instruments.

Reid’s Palace Classic Auto Show
Car lovers rejoice! The annual Reid’s Palace Classic Auto Show is an

outstanding exhibition of the finest vintage and classic cars on the

island of Madeira. Stroll along Estrada Monumental in Funchal – from

Reid’s Palace to Largo da Paz – to see a unique collection of rare and

restored cars, motorbikes and scooters from another era, all in pristine

condition. The day culminates with cocktails and an awards ceremony for

the most original, best restored and ‘best of show’ vehicles.

Festa da Cebola (Onion Festival) – Caniço
Dedicated to the humble onion, Festa da Cebola is a charming tribute to

local farmers and the agricultural produce of Caniço. Admire artistic

arrangements and displays with local flowers and enjoy the parade of

tractors and cars decoratively covered with onions. Traditional music,

craft stalls and a selection of food and wine ensure this festival is a

popular event for all ages. Don’t forget to take home a box of home-

grown onions – direct from the farmer!

Festas da Sé – Funchal – 23-31 May
The streets surrounding the Funchal Cathedral come alive at the end of

May during the Festas da Sé – a typical Madeiran arraial (street party).

Local restaurants in Rua de João Tavira, Rua do Bispo, Rua da Queimada

de Cima, Rua da Queimada de Baixo and Rua dos Ferreiros feature special

traditional menus and offer a wide selection of local food and wine. The

streets are beautifully decorated for the occasion and entertainment

includes music from singing groups and brass bands.

June

Atlantic Festival – Fireworks Contest – 7, 14, 21 and 28
The Atlantic Festival is an exciting annual event that combines

entertainment and culture. It has three components: the Madeira Music

Festival, the International Fireworks Competition and performances by

philharmonic bands in Funchal’s centre. Classical music performances are

held in the Palácio de São Lourenço, Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias,

Casa das Mudas and several churches in Funchal. On every Saturday night

in June, contestants from different countries organise magnificent

firework displays in harmony with accompanying music as part of the

International Fireworks Competition.

Festa dos Santos Populares (Festival of the Popular Saints) – 12-29
The Festa dos Santos Populares is one of the best-loved festivals in

Madeira. Dedicated to three saints, traditional parades fill the

brightly decorated streets of Funchal and there is plenty of music,

bonfires and food stalls. Santo António is the saint of love and many

marriages take place during this time. São João – the patron saint of

Porto Santo – is honoured with candle-lit balloons. São Pedro is the

protector of the fishermen, and lively celebrations are held in the

fishing ports of Câmara de Lobos and in Ribeira Brava.

Festa da Cereja (Cherry Festival) – Câmara de Lobos, Jardim da Serra –

14-15
The sweet, ruby-coloured fruit of the cherry is the guest of honour at

the Festa da Cereja, an annual festival held in Câmara de Lobos. A

number of varieties are harvested throughout early summer including the

large Norberto variety, which has been adapted to Madeira’s climate and

soil. The festive parade, stalls and music offer plenty of

entertainment. Don’t forget to sample a glass of ginjinha, a delicious

liqueur made from Morello cherries.

Volta à Madeira – Classic Rally (date to be announced)
A fleet of beautifully restored classic and vintage cars are on display

at the annual Classic Rally at the end of June. Visitors can admire the

unique vintage vehicles along Avenida Arriaga before participants

traverse the winding roads for over 400 km through the breathtaking

landscapes of the island. The rally is held over a number of stages,

from Funchal to Câmara de Lobos, beautiful Machico and Santana.

July

Madeira Day – 1 July
Madeira Day is a national holiday celebrating the anniversary of the

archipelago’s independence from mainland Portugal, granted in 1976 in

the Portuguese Constitution. Official ceremonies are held throughout the

Autonomous Region of Madeira, while families and friends enjoy picnics

and plenty of lively local events.

Funchal Jazz Festival – Parque Santa Catarina – 3-5
The Funchal Jazz Festival has grown into one of Madeira’s most popular

cultural events. Visitors flock to the island to enjoy performances by

renowned jazz artists from across the globe as well as local bands and

musicians. The festival is held annually in Santa Catarina Park, which

offers splendid views of the city’s mountainous backdrop and Funchal

Bay. Jam sessions, master classes and workshops for jazz aficionados are

also popular events.

48 hours Dancing Folklore Festival – Santana – 11-13
Experience a taste of authentic Madeiran culture at ‘48 Horas a Bailar’,

in the town of Santana. Local troupes perform traditional folk dances in

colourful costumes, accompanied by musicians playing Portuguese

instruments. Special groups from different parts of the island are

invited to perform, while stalls selling local culinary specialities,

drinks and crafts line the streets for this festival.

Festa da Lapa (Limpet festival) – Paul do Mar – 18-20
For three days in July, Festa da Lapa is a tribute to the limpets

harvested in the rocky shores around Paul do Mar, which are an important

part of the local economy. Visitors can admire picturesque ocean views

while enjoying one of the favourite local dishes – grilled lapas with

garlic butter and lemon. Simply delicious! Entertainment includes

traditional dancing, DJs and live music.

Banana Exhibit – Madalena do Mar – 19-20
Festa da Banana is a tribute to one of Madeira’s most important local

products, which flourish in huge bunches in Madeira’s pleasant

subtropical climate. Held in the town of Madalena do Mar – home to the

largest banana plantations on the island – visitors can enjoy the

spectacular displays of fruit and flowers, as well as local food and

entertainment.

Madeira Island Summer Opening – Parque Santa Catarina – 25th & 26th
The Madeira Island Summer Opening is a two-day music festival taking

place at Parque Santa Catarina, overlooking stunning scenery of Funchal

and the Atlantic.

Visit the following shops for tickets and more information:

Fnac (Madeira Shopping)
Balcão MMM Ticket (Fórum Madeira)
Lojas Viagens Abreu
Lojas CTT (Madeira e Porto Santo)

Machico Gastronomy – 25 July to 3 August
Held in the summertime by the sea, Machico Food Festival Week showcases

the unique flavours of Madeira’s wonderful cuisine for over 10 days. A

wide range of restaurants and bars are set around a stage in Largo da

Praça in Machico where visitors can order a mouthwatering selection of

traditional local delicacies including fish, limpets, crabs and

espetadas, accompanied by Madeira’s finest wines. Music and

entertainment are provided throughout the week and the event includes a

cocktail festival on the final day.

Rali Vinho da Madeira (European Rally Championship) – 31th July to 2nd

August
Rally cars dominate Madeira’s picturesque landscape over three days

during the annual Madeira Wine Rally. This top race attracts a number of

European competitors whose skilful driving is tested by the island’s

mountainous routes, winding roads and unpredictable weather. Fans flock

to watch the race and there are plenty of places where visitors can

gather to appreciate the speed and expertise of the drivers. The Madeira

Wine Rally is one of the top events in the FIA European Rally

Championships.

August

Monte Festival – 15
The Monte Festival is one of the largest religious festivals on the

island. The Nossa Senhora do Monte Church, located in the hills of

Monte, is beautifully decorated with flowers in honour of Our Lady of

the Monte, who is the patron saint of Madeira. Pilgrims take part in a

procession to the church, with the streets covered in flowers. This

picturesque place comes alive with entertainment and festivities,

including music, dancing and stalls serving local food and drinks.

Funchal Music Fest – (date to be announced)
Get ready to rock! Funchal Music Fest is the major summer music festival

in Madeira, held over three days in beautiful Santa Catarina Park in

Funchal. Starting at 20:00 every evening, the festival includes food

stalls and an entertainment area. The Fan Kit ticket offers access to

the festival for three days as well as food and drink vouchers. Funchal

Music Fest also has a focus on environmental sustainability and attracts

a number of popular local and international musicians every year.

Funchal City Day – 21
Dia da Cidade do Funchal commemorates the anniversary of the Royal

Charter signed by King D. Manuel I in 1508, which officially recognises

Funchal as a city. Historically an important sea port for trade, Funchal

was the first European city built in the Atlantic. Official ceremonies

include a mass at the Colégio Church and an assembly at the Town Hall,

as well as plenty of local events and festivities.

Wine Harvest Festival – Porto Santo – (date to be announced)
Porto Santo’s Wine Harvest Festival is one of the biggest events in

Porto Santo.
Held in Largo das Palmeiras, visitors enjoy the opportunity to get to

know the grape varieties produced on the island. Activities include wine

tastings, winemaking demonstrations and an exhibit of some of the tools

and equipment used to cultivate and harvest the grapes, including a

traditional wine press. Music and folklore groups provide plenty of

entertainment.

Madeira Wine Festival –31th August to 7 September
Recalling the social and economic importance of Madeira wine by reliving

old wine-growing traditions, the Madeira Wine Festival is held in

September during the main period of grape harvesting. The festival

begins in the village of Câmara de Lobos with the actual picking of the

grapes, the pickers’ parade, the treading of the grapes and other

related traditions that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. In the

centre of Funchal, the Madeira Wine Festival includes light, sound and

folk shows, all related to wine-making traditions, and many stands serve

typical Madeiran food and drink specialities.

September

Columbus Festival – Porto Santo Island – 18-20
This festival is dedicated to the great navigator Christopher Columbus

and recalls the discoverer’s life in the Madeiran archipelago, his

voyages to the Americas and the glorious times of the Portuguese Age of

Discoveries. Held in Vila Baleira on Porto Santo Island, this week-long

event features lots of music, exhibitions, parades and street parties.

Columbus’ first visit to Madeira was in 1478, when Funchal was an

important sugar trade centre. However, his closest ties to the

archipelago result from his marriage to Filipa Moniz, daughter of the

first captain-donee of Porto Santo. Columbus lived in the archipelago

for a few years during the last quarter of the 15th century and his

first child Diogo was born in Porto Santo. The highlight of this week is

the re-enactment of Columbus’ and his party’s arrival in Porto Santo’s

harbour.

Apple Festival – Ponta do Pargo – 20-21
Taking place in the rural village of Ponta do Pargo, in the district of

Calheta, this event transforms apple production into a very lively and

popular feast, bringing together many people from neighbouring regions.

The apples of this region are even mentioned by renowned writers who

refer to their delicious aroma. This is a very popular festival with the

usual outdoor stands selling food and drinks.

World Tourism Day – Funchal – 27
Madeira celebrates World Tourism Day with activities and entertainment

that recognise the importance of tourism on the island. Downtown Funchal

is beautifully decorated with flowers for the occasion and visitors

enjoy free entry to a number of gardens and museums in Madeira. Music

and folk dancing groups provide plenty of cultural entertainment

throughout the day, while visitors will also be greeted with flowers,

gifts and entertainment at Madeira Airport.

Mostra da Sidra (Apple Cider Festival) – Santo da Serra –27-28
The Apple Cider Festival promotes the popular Madeiran tradition of

making delicious apple cider from the apples grown in the district of

Santo da Serra. This festival comprises a small procession, which

includes the pressing of the apples, as well as much music and lively

activities connected to an agricultural theme.

October

Festa da Maçã – Camacha – 3-5
This Apple Festival takes place in the rural district of Camacha and

consists of an exhibition and street parade, which is very pleasant for

both participants and visitors, due to the variety of colours and aromas

perfuming the air. Don’t forget to sample some of the freshly-squeezed

apple cider.

Madeira Nature Festival – 6th to 12th October
Discover the natural beauty of Madeira with the Madeira Nature Festival,

a new addition to the island’s annual events calendar. The dynamic

programme offers insights into Madeira’s natural and cultural heritage,

as well as a wide range of adventurous activities for all ages, from

paragliding over the mountains to sailing the deep blue Atlantic.

Madeira Organ Festival – 17-26
Part of the Cultural Festivals of Madeira, the Madeira Organ Festival is

a celebration of the enduring music of the Portuguese organ. Recitals in

some of Madeira’s most beautiful churches are held every evening for 10

days in October, featuring beautifully restored organs (dating back to

the 18th and 19th century) from Portugal, Italy and England. These

dramatic recitals are accompanied by chamber groups, classical musicians

and solo performers.

Happy Halloween – 31
A popular holiday in the UK and North America, Halloween is also

celebrated on the island of Madeira. At few shopping centres in Madeira,

kids dress up in costume, get their faces painted and then go trick or

treating from store to store. The Madeira Magic Park also organises a

Halloween party for kids with a program of exciting events. Bars and

nightclubs throughout the city also host parties for Halloween.

November

Chestnut Festival (Festa da Castanha) – Curral das Freiras 1-2 November
On the first day of November in the rural district of Curral das

Freiras, homage is paid to the chestnut, which grow in abundance in this

area. The local population makes the most of the chestnuts as they are

used as a main ingredient in many local recipes including baked goods,

soups, and liqueur. This feast reflects the numerous cultural and

traditional aspects of this rural area.

Funchal International Film Festival – Funchal – 5-15
Film buffs gather for the annual Funchal International Film Festival,

which presents a wide selection of independent films in a variety of

genres. Held in the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, this week-long

festival comprises an international competition for feature and short

films, as well as animation, documentaries and a local competition for

films produced in Madeira. Every year also features a retrospective of

the best Portuguese filmmakers.

December 2014 – January 2015

Christmas and New Year’s Entertainment – 1 December 2014 to 6th January

2015

Christmas lights in Madeira – 8th December to January 6th
Christmas and New Year celebrations in Madeira offer a varied programme

of cultural, folk and artistic events. The festive season starts in

December when Funchal’s streets are magnificently decorated and the

colourful lights are switched on in the city’s main streets until early

January.
New Year’s Eve is celebrated everywhere on the island, in hotels,

restaurants, bars, and even in the streets. The highlight of the New

Year’s Eve festivities are spectacular fireworks – set off from

approximately 50 posts – that illuminate the skies over Funchal. This is

a truly unforgettable event, which brings back a multitude of visitors

to the island each year.

Madeira Island Winter Fest – (date to be announced)
The Madeira Island Winter Fest is a two day event held in Madeira

Tecnopolo in December. This event is brought to you by Puppetry

Productions, featuring extraordinary musicians such as Amor Electro,

Carminho, Moonspell, Karnak Seti, Joana Machado and Calamity Islet. The

Madeira Winter fest will be rocking, visit the following shops for

tickets and more information.