Events and Festivals in Funchal, Portugal

Events and Festivals in Funchal

January

  • Cantar os Reis (Singing of the Kings) (5th-6th):A festival filled with music and carols, where troupes line the streets in the night and outdoor concerts take place all over the Island in different musical venues. A wonderful festival for musicians and musical lovers alike.

February

  • Maderia Carnival (11th-18th): This festival is considered one of the biggest street parties in Europe, starting with an elaborate parade through Funchal. Revelers dressed in colourful costumes, melodious music at every corner, free flowing wine and delicious food will thrill you during this magical week.
  • Festival of Wine, Embroidery & Handicrafts of Madeira: Hosted by the Madeira Wine Institute, this festival is all about appreciating and experiencing the tradition crafts and wine making of the Island. Workshops, wine tasting, auctions and exhibitions of intricate embroidery are just a few of the interesting events that will take place.

April

  • Madeira Flower Festival (16th-22nd):Flowers will fill the streets of Funchal, while flower carpet making, folklore performances and concerts take place. This beautiful, colourful festival is a celebration of nature’s jewels.
  • Festival of the Gardens: This colourful festival aims to promote Funchal’s stunning gardens, open spaces and unique flora.  Allocated lots are provided to gardeners and investors and mini-gardens are created for all 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.
  • Cultural Festival (Book Fair): Held in the open air, under a canopy of trees, this festival entails book launches, poetry sessions, literary seminars and different kinds of live events.

May

  • Reid’s Palace Classic Auto Show: Car lovers will swoon at the sight of classic vintage cars and collections of rare, restored automobiles. Cars, motorbikes and scooters, all in pristine condition, are displayed in order to win the title of ‘best of the show’.
  • Festas da Sé (23rd-31st): The streets surrounding Funchal Cathedral are filled with life and the smells of mouth-watering traditional food. Local food and wine is accompanied by singing groups and brass bands.
  • Atlantic Festival - Fireworks Contest (7th, 14th, 21st and 28th): This rousing annual event 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.
  • Festa dos Santos Populares (Festival of the Popular Saints) (12th-29th): The Festa dos Santos Populares is dedicated to three saints: Santo António, saint of love, São João, the patron saint of Porto Santo, and São Pedro,the protector of the fishermen. Weddings, candlelit balloons and and lively celebrations are held in the fishing ports of Câmara de Lobos and in Ribeira Brava. Traditional parades fill the brightly decorated streets of Funchal to celebrate.Music, bonfires and food stalls will treat your senses to quite an experience.

July

  • Funchall Jazz Festival (3rd-5th): Jazz lovers will be thrilled to listen to the most famous and illustrious jazz musicians in the world. The festival is held annually in Santa Catarina Park, which offers splendid views of the city’s mountainous backdrop and Funchal Bay.

August

  • Funchal City Day (21st): 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.
  • Madeira Wine Festival (31st): 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. Delicious fun!

September

  • World Tourism Day (27th): Madeira celebrates with activities and entertainment that recognise the importance of tourism on the island. Downtown Funchal is decorated with colourful 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.

November

  • Funchal International Film Festival (7th-15th): Film buffs will love 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-longmovie 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 reel of the best Portuguese filmmakers.

December

  • Christmas lights in Madeira (8th December to January 6th): Always a good time to plan your trip to Funchal. 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 brilliantly decorated with colourful lights.
  • New Year’s Eve is celebrated everywhere on the island, in hotels, restaurants, bars, and especially 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. This idyllic island is perfect for a New Year’s get away.

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