Every year, two weeks after Easter, Madeira’s flower-festival comes alive on the main streets of Funchal’s centre with floats displaying a myriad of colourful flowers. This is one of the biggest celebrations in Madeira Island. On the Sunday a large parade of flower-decked cars get privileged use of the main street in Funchal … accompanied by over thousands of participants – girls, boys, men and women – dressed up as a flower.
On the eve before the street parade, thousands of children visit the Praça do Município where they build a “Wall of Hope”, made of thousands of flowers. The city gets a complete makeover with flower carpets in the streets, folklore performances, flower shows, classical music concerts and variety shows. A truly beautiful sight that redefines the expression ‘Flower Power’.
The origins of the Flower Festival date back to the “Ball of the Rose” festival, organized in 1955 for the first time by the Ateneu Comercial do Funchal. That event in those days was characterized by a ball that marked the beginning of spring and included an exhibition-contest of flowers.
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In 1979 the first Madeira Flower Festival took place, and it found its way to enhance the value of the flower as a promotion factor for the tourism of Madeira. It became a beautiful outdoor event in which it gave the opportunity to the Madeiran people to manifest their creativity.
Also in 1979, International Year of Children, in order to boost the event, the organisation included the tradition of the children walk to the Town Square and building the “Wall of Hope”.
This is one of the many moments in the year that one can experience the colourful outstanding beauty of Madeira, already renowned for its spectacular nature, its rich culture and honest hospitality of its people.
References and Sources
Before writing this article we have gained information and inspiration from the following sources:
Flower Festival Parade. A colorful allegorical parade marks the highlight of the festivities. Furthermore, many flower-decorated floats and fairy-tale or flowery costumed Madeiran’s parade through Funchal. Hence vibrant musical rhythms and dances enthusiasm the visitors the planned route. It is a real delight for the eyes and for each photographer.“Madeira Flower Festival – Festa do Flor” by Ocean Retreat
Floral species originating in many parts of the world bloom in Madeira, as the island meets specific climatic conditions that allow species from both tropical and cold regions to flourish.“Flower Festival” by Visit Madeira
But that is not all! There is another outstanding event the next day, namely the Grand Flower Parade with several floats and hundreds of participants proudly showing off the island’s local flowers.“Madeira Flower Festival” by Legendary Travel Madeira