Its Party Time
The main streets of Funchal will be filled with colourful, chaotic madness that invades the bars, clubs and hotels and turns them into permanent party zones. As a visitor you will be able to participate as much or as little as you would like in the party, joining in as a spectator or becoming an active participant.
Visiting Madeira during this event is a great opportunity to learn about the local culture and get involved in a loud, happy, crazy, fun and exhilarating party.
The Carnival Events
The fun begins on Friday night with “Noite Travesti” or Transvestite Night, as the name suggests, this is the evening when the men dress as woman and vice versa. Most of the nightclubs promote this night with cash prizes for the best-dressed “woman” and/or “Man”. It's a lot of fun and worth taking part plus you do see some interesting sights.
The Allegoric Parade
On Saturday night it’s the main event with a colourful float parade that takes thousands of visitors to the Centre of Funchal. Every year the parade has a different theme - such as “Magical Forest,” or “Seas and Oceans” however this year the theme is “Signs of the Zodiac”
Everyone will be dancing in brightly coloured costumes and ornately decorated floats and the loud music can be heard all over the town. These musical performers have been choreographing and rehearsing their dances all throughout the year and they are an amazing sight to see. On the Wednesday before Shrove Tuesday you will also see plenty of street performers at the central walkway in Avenida Arriaga.
Trapalhao Parade or Slapstick Parade
The carnival also includes the Festa dos Compadres, which symbolises the passage from winter to spring. Another important part of this festival is the Trapalhao Parade, which is held on Shrove Tuesday. This is known as the “slapstick” parade and everyone is welcome to participate. You can join as an individual or in a group and you are free to dress up in the most ridiculous way and act as goofy as you like. The more the merrier and everyone will be in a playful mood. Other nights during the week include “Hippie Night” and “Pyjama Night” so there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to dress up.
Enterro de Osso
The Carnival ends with “Enterro de Osso” roughly translated as “bone burial” and another reason to party way into the wee small hours.