Festivities are the best way to know the local traditions and are to be found everywhere in Madeira.
They can be religious or profane, but the most important ones are those dedicated to the local patron Saints and the Holy Spirit Sacrament. The church is beautifully ornamented with flowers and, after the religious service, there is always a procession followed by a brass band. Sometimes a wonderful flower carpet paves the road.
The surroundings of the church are ornamented with flags, laurel arches and long lines of plastic flowers of various colours. At times, you might hear locals singing typical songs in pairs challenging each other – “despique”. It is also normal to see stalls selling “espetada” and a special homemade bread served warm with garlic butter, as well as regional wine, a fizzy orange drink (“laranjada”), “sangria” and “Poncha”. At midnight the sky is lit with colourful fireworks.
This is something you won’t want to miss!
Maria da Luz Silva (Official Tourist Guide)
Photo courtesy of Maria da Luz Silva