From February 26th to March 10th – Carnival festivities | Carnaval
Carnival, the merrymaking and festivity that takes place in many Roman Catholic countries in the last days and hours before the Lenten season. The derivation of the word is uncertain, though it possibly can be traced to the medieval Latin carnem levare or carnelevarium, which means to take away or remove meat. This coincides with the fact that Carnival is the final festivity before the commencement of the austere 40 days of Lent, during which Roman Catholics in earlier times fasted, abstained from eating meat, and followed other ascetic practices. The historical origin of Carnival is also obscure. It possibly has its roots in a primitive festival honouring the beginning of the new year and the rebirth of nature, though it is also possible that the beginnings of Carnival in Italy may be linked to the pagan Saturnalian festival of ancient Rome (in encyclopaedia Britannica).
Indeed the word Carnaval refers to the numerous festivities that occur in many Catholic cities every year prior to the Lenten season. These festivals often last several days or weeks and are composed of rather popular celebrations of local history and culture. In many cases residents and visitors prepare for Carnival festivities throughout the year.
In Madeira islands, grosso modo, the festivities will be as follows.
Saturday – 2nd March
On Saturday night, the colourful and vibrant float parade takes thousands of visitors and residents to the Center of Funchal. This is the main attraction of Madeira Carnival. Over a thousand revellers participate dressed in eye-catching costumes in addition to a dozen exquisitely decorated floats.
The parade is opened with music: the colourful joy and the rhythm of the costumed troupes are contagious. They parade enthusiastically to the sound of selected songs that were choreographed and rehearsed throughout the year, overflowing the public with their joy.
Tuesday- 5th March – Carnival day
The “Trapalhão” Parade (slapstick parade), held on Shrove Tuesday, represents the spontaneous parade that originally occurred on Rua da Carreira. Participation is open to all, both national and foreign citizens, either independently or as a group. The participants’ creativity knows no boundaries and spans from social and political satire, to traditional themes, or simple character disguise. Whether you watch or participate in this parade, you will undoubtedly be able to share moments of good humour and interact with the public.
March 1st – Children’s Carnival
During this period, children and their parents engage in making masks to take to school. On Friday morning, prior to Carnival, about a thousand young revellers from various schools and kindergartens of Funchal, all in disguise, parade through the city center (Avenida Arriaga), in an atmosphere of Carnival liveliness.
Please visit the official website for detailed programme:
March, 9th – Music in the North | Música a Norte – Saint Vicent village
As part of the celebrations for the 600th anniversary of the Discovery of the Islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, this cycle of Baroque music “Music in the North” aims to bring closer to the public one of the most remarkable and rich periods of our musical heritage, the centuries XVII to XVIII.
The name “Music in the North” was given due to the fact that all performances will take place on the north of Madeira Island. Is was presented by the Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture at the São Jorge – Memória e Futuro congresso, in August 2018. The “Barroco” period arose from the relationship with the rich patrimony existing in this parish church of São Jorge.
The programme is centered on sacred music, we will listen to works by great international composers such as Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, presented together with a Salve Regina by Alessandro Scarlatti, both works for Soprano, Alto and Orchestra and performed by the Baroque Orchestra of Mateus. There will also be works by Vivaldi, Bach and Händel in a concert by the Funchal Baroque Ensemble, but also by some of the most notable Portuguese composers such as António Teixeira, Carlos Seixas and Francisco António de Almeida, among others, performed by two vocal groups dedicated to the interpretation of the Portuguese polyphony: Polyphonos and Grupo Vocal Olisipo.
All these programmes also seek to respect the season of Lent that is lived during this festival, privileging works that were composed for this period and that encourage reflection.
The first performance connected to this event will be in Sâo Vicente, March the 9th
All places scheduled as follows:
PARISH CHURCH OF SAINT VINCENT |IGREJA MATRIZ DE SÃO VICENTE
SATURDAY, MARCH 9 | 9:00 PM
“In Festo S. Vicentii – Música para São Vicente” – POLYPHONOS
PARISH CHURCH OF PORTO MONIZ | IGREJA MATRIZ DO PORTO MONIZ
SATURDAY, MARCH 16 | 8:00 PM
“Barroco Católico e Protestante” – GRUPO VOCAL OLISIPO
PARISH CHURCH OF PONTA DELGADA | IGREJA DO SENHOR BOM JESUS DE PONTA DELGADA
SUNDAY, MARCH 24 | 4:30 PM
“Fé, devoção e poética musical no barroco do séc. XVIII” – FUNCHAL BAROQUE ENSEMBLE
PARISH CHURCH OF SAINT GEORGE | IGREJA MATRIZ DE SÃO JORGE
SUNDAY, MARCH 31 | 6:00 PM
“Stabat Mater de Pergolesi” – ORQUESTRA BARROCA DE MATEUS
Please visit the official website:
March 16th and 17th – Regional Custard Apple Exhibition
Custard apple is a common name for a fruit, and the tree which bears it – Annona spp. In Madeira it is known as “Anona” and the specie that is more cultivated is the Annona cherimola Mill.
This event takes place in a small village on the north of Madeira, organised by the Casa do Povo of Faial with the main purpose of developing the production of this fruit and its derivatives, such like liqueurs, puddings, ice cream and milkshakes, in an environment with a lot of entertainment, music and contests.
For further suggestions please visit the links hereunder with the cultural agenda:
Maria do Monte Pereira (Official Tourist Guide)
Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro