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Funchal Flower Festival

Posted by Luci Ackers on 15 April 2015
Related property: Encosta Cabo Girao
Funchal Flower Festival

The annual Madeira Flower Festival is always such a huge event. Taking place in the spring time, two weeks after Easter, the event is celebrated with the flowers typically in bloom during that season. Madeira's capital Funchal, which sits on the southern coast of the island, is the setting of the famous Flower Festival. It is an amazing spectacle that brings an array of colours and perfumes thanks to the subtropical climate.

 

The origins of the flower festival date back to the 1950s when the Festival of the Rose was organised as part of a contest exhibition. The success of the event saw the tradition continue and the name was changed to the Flower Festival. It was from the late 70s that interest and popularity picked up after the Directorate of Tourism included more events such as street demonstrations and the Wall of Hope Ceremony. There is now also competitions, variety shows, performances and music concerts during the event.

The Festival continues over a period of several days but the main attractions take place at the weekend. On Saturday a children's parade sees hundreds of children, dressed for the occasion parade from the road Avenida Arriaga and arrive in the Praça do Município, the main square in Funchal. Here a beautiful flower mural is built, symbolically named the Wall of Hope and the children decorate it with hundreds of flowers. The main Flower Parade takes place on Sunday and there is an array of floats and creative flower decorations. Music and colour flood the city centre, people dress up and dancing takes place in the streets.

Alongside these main events there are multiple smaller events and activities as well. Competitions include the best window displays and blooming flower gardens; a flower exhibition takes place in Largo da Restauração, right in the heart of Funchal. This is located behind the iconic palace of São Lourenço and compares the most beautiful examples of the various types of flowers produced throughout the region. The flowers on display are grown with dedication and judged in a range of categories by a panel of experts.

The exhibition and a variety of shows act as a way of honouring and celebrating the flowers. There is a flower market as an extension of the exhibit which was an addition initiated in 2007. It is considered an asset, serving to publicise the numerous floral and ornamental species while allowing visitors and locals the chance to buy mementos in a picturesque environment from traditional vendors.

The festival celebrates the culture of the island as well as the seasonal beauty and so there is live entertainment of traditional music and folk group performances to watch. The abundance of local flora has contributed to the establishment of forms of art; beautiful decorations and floral carpets are created across the island. This is a tradition that seems to have originated from the celebration of religious holidays and the custom of liturgical decoration. The art form is now reproduced on the streets along the central promenade of Avenida Arriaga during the festival. It is always a colourful spectacle and if you are visiting Madeira it is worth stopping to watch.

The 2015 Flower Festival is running from the 16th - 22nd April with the weekend of the 18th -19th hosting the two main events.

Encosta Cabo Girão is a fantastic resort located high on a sea cliff just a short distance from Funchal and all its various events, find out how you can stay here by following the link below.

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Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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