Category Archives: Traditions

Braguinha de Madeira

Machete (Braguinha) is characteristic instrument of Madeira Island. It is a small guitar with four gut strings that are tuned in thirds, with the exception of the two main strings, which have an interval of a fourth. This instrument is used by farmers at feasts and dance. The music is vulgar in a succession of simple chords, but in the

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What is an Arraial?

Madeira has various ‘Arraiais‘ all year round. Arraiais are traditional regional festivities that is celebrated with street processions, flower carpets, churches and street decorations with lights, colorful flags, music, traditional folklore, food and drink. Each town/parish has its own Arraial and they can differ one from another. To give you an impression of such an Arraial …. check out the

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Christmas Traditions on Madeira Island

The month of December can be a very busy one … especially for those who are preparing for the holidays festivities and Madeiran traditions. One of these traditions is the Presépio …. which is set up starting from 8th of December. It is the Christmas Nativity with all the usual figurines. You will find it in most homes here on

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The Cherry Picker from Jardim da Serra

A beautiful video created by Heitor Rodrigues of a Madeiran cherry picker (apanhador de cerejas) Sr. Agostinho of the village Jardim da Serra. Enjoy the serenity and un-stressfulness when Sr. Agostinho picks the cherries to sell them at the Funchal Market (Mercado dos Lavradores). Next time you buy and eat a Madeiran cherry …. remember this video.

Rua de Santa Maria, Funchal

The Old Town (Zona Velha) of Funchal is one of most attractive areas of the city. One can experience the real typical surroundings and local life of the city … taking you back in time to when the first settlement of the island started. One of the romantic narrow cobbled streets that we recommend is Rua de Santa Maria. Rua

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Columbus Festival – Festival Colombo 2011

The Columbus Festival was first held in 2000 with the aim of launching a quality cultural tourism offer on the island of Porto Santo. This year it will be held from 15th till 17th of September 2011. The event is based around the historical figure of Christopher Columbus, who had close links with Madeira both as a sugar trader during

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Madeira 1927 till 1961 – The Movie

Relive the wonderful past of Madeira. A compilation of amateur short films (35mm, 16mm and 9.5mm) about Madeira. A private collection of Hugo Reis. See the trailer …

Poncha da Madeira

The Poncha is a drink originated in India, brought by the British, and adapted by Madeirans. The Indian name given to the drink, namely pãnch, was initially composed by five ingredients: Rice or nut coconut spirit, sugar, tea of fresh herbs, spices and water. It is believed now that the Poncha has been experienced for the first time outside India,

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What is Carnival / Carnaval?

Soon the Carnival fever will start here on Madeira Island … see previous post Carnival – Mardi Gras – Carnaval But have you asked yourself … what does the word “Carnival” stand for? Wikipedia offers some answers: The Carnival Season is a holiday period during the two weeks before the traditional Christian fasting of Lent. The origin of the name

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Madeira Christmas Traditions

The month of December is a very busy one … especially for the locals who are preparing for the holidays festivities and traditions. One of these traditions is the Presépio …. which is set up from 8th of December. Christmas Nativity with all the usual figurines. You will find it in in most homes here on Madeira and also in

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Missa do Parto and Missa do Galo

Missa do parto (Childbirth Mass) is one of the religious mass celebrations that takes place in most churches on the Madeira Island. It is a Christmas tradition that starts nine days (novena) before Christmas. Each day of those nine days represents a month of the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary, and it finishes with the midnight mass (Missa do Galo)

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2010 Christmas Illuminations Funchal Madeira

The city of Funchal transforms itself into a life-size nativity scene. It is Christmas Time on Madeira Island! The streets are decorated with millions of lights …. in all sizes and colors. They evoke images of the seasonal symbolism. The city has put on her evening gala dress with lights embroidery and beautiful colors for the December festivities.

Christmas on Madeira anno 1896

Some of the native ceremonies on fête days are peculiarly interesting. I recollect well the Christmas I spent in Madeira. It was a beautiful day; the birds chirped merrily in the gardens and the bright rays of the sun beamed radiantly in through the half-opened windows of the little English church. A resident English clergyman had charge of it, the

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Madeira Wine Festival

Beginning of September the grape harvest and wine making process starts on the island of Madeira, Estreito de Camara de Lobos. This is known as the Festa do Vinho da Madeira (Madeira Wine Festival) … Madeira’s oldest festival. The picking of the grapes, the Parade of the Pickers, treading the grapes and the whole ritual is a distinctly Madeiran tradition.

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Raizes de um Povo – Roots of a People

We need to learn the past …. to understand the present … and prepare for the future. This magnificent project, created by Eduardo Costa Audiovisual Productions, aims an encounter with the valuable past, the Folklore and Ethnography of the archipelago of Madeira. It portraits in terrific details the daily life and activities the small nation in the past, but in

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Madeira Short Film

I was invited for the premiere of the Madeirense movie production As memórias que nunca se apagam .… “The memories that never extinguish” … that took place yesterday at the Congress Center of Madeira Casino. It is a short film made by two filmmakers Dinarte Freitas and Eduardo Costa. The congress center was packed (there was not enough chairs) and

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Monte Festival

One of the most popular religious (folk) festivals of Madeira will take place … the Monte Festival –A Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of the Mount). With this festival Funchal commemorates the deliverance of the people from hunger and plague. Celebrations consists of a city fair which lasts through the night, with braziers and all sorts of wonderful Madeirense

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Regional Events Month of July

11 to 13 July – 53rd Livestock and Agribusiness Fair – Porto Moniz Organized for the first time in 1955 in order to encourage development of animal rearing, this has become a rural event of particular importance to the Region. Various exhibits of animals and objects related to local farming are available for visitors to see in Santa – Porto

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Missas do Parto (The Childbirth Masses)

From this week-end and until the 24th of December, in almost all parishes of the Diocese of Funchal is the celebrated “Missas do Parto” (Masses of childbirth), a religious heritage that is experienced by the parish communities, through songs and events. Despite a tradition of being secular, the “Childbirth Masses” is still one of the largest demonstrations of popular religion

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