Carnival officially begins on the Friday before Lent and only ends on Shrove Tuesday, with the whole island being caught up in the intense and contagious liveliness.
The Carnival festival in Madeira is one of the region’s liveliest festivals. Funchal city wakes up on the Friday morning to the sound of brass bands and carnival parades bringing their good humour to the whole of the downtown area, which is then continued at night with concerts and shows in the Praça do Município for five consecutive days.
On Saturday night, it’s time for the great procession of floats to come out into the street. After following their traditional route through the city, they concentrate in the Praça do Município, where there is much singing and dancing in a magical atmosphere of music and merrymaking.
On the day of the Carnival itself (Shrove Tuesday), Funchal explodes in a great outpouring of merriment. In the afternoon, irreverent merrymakers from all over the world parade in front of the crowd who are in turn infected by this atmosphere of playful caricature - it is time for the popular parade. Throughout this period, the streets of Funchal are decorated with patterns of lights and inundated with background music alluding to the Carnival period. Let this contagion infect you, too!
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