The Flower Festival: A Celebration of Spring
For over half a century, at the end of every winter, the Portuguese island of Madeira has celebrated the re-blossoming of nature. Showcasing extraordinary floral displays, the festival sends a positive message for the hope, love and respect that exists between man and earth. It was established in 1954 after a considerable number of islanders were found to be growing flowers as a hobby. These gardeners were invited to exhibit their flora, and the best flowers were awarded prizes. As the competition was a huge hit, it quickly grew into a fully fledged event with parades, intricate displays and decorations, as well as musical performances.
“The magnificent and splendid array of floats and costumes endowed with colourful floral species and festive musical themes creates an unmissable atmosphere.”
What’s On? The Festival’s Calendar
This year, the Madeira Flower Festival will be held from the 19 April to the 6 May.
In the morning, the Children’s Parade is held. Dressed to impress, the littles ones line the streets and walk to Praça do Municipio where they each place a flower in a pile to build a stunning floral mural appropriately named ‘Wall of Hope’. The day ends with a dramatic release of doves symbolising an aspiration for world peace.
On Sunday, the festivities continue with celebratory music, wafts of aromas from the floral displays and a colourful float parade. The parade is the climax of the festival, as hundreds of dancers take to the streets, swaying to the festive music and accompanying the impressive floats that travel through the city.
- A flower market where floral ornaments are sold.
- A floral exhibition in the centre of Funchal, at Praça do Povo.
- Various flower workshops where you can create your own display.
- Flowers carpets and decoration displays.
The Madeira Auto Parade which combines classic vehicles with beautiful Madeiran flowers to symbolise the restoration of nature