Festival Nossa Senhora do Monte

On 15th August, the patron saint of Funchal and of the entire Diocese is celebrated. More than a tradition, which has been kept for many years, it is above all an expression of faith, which attracts thousands of people to the centre of the parish. The festivity extends from Largo da Fonte to Babosas, known for the Chapel destroyed during the storm of February 2010 - a new project will be built on the same site.

The highlight of this festival happens the day before, on August 14th. In the past the pilgrims came on foot, on pilgrimage. Nowadays people arrive from everywhere in their private cars, by bus and more recently some people choose to use the cable car which connects Funchal to Monte.

The Festival is marked by great entertainment, spontaneously promoted by improvised groups that at the sound of the accordion, the “rajão” and other musical instruments, play challenge songs that attract the attention of passersby. Hence the popular expression "On 15th August, all roads lead to Monte".

The decorations, which deserve special mention, are accompanied by the traditional food and drink stalls. The "Espetada Regional" (Beef Skewers), the “bolo do caco” bread and the typical “carne de vinha-d'alhos” sandwich (meat marinated in wine and garlic) are always present at the festival.

The next day is highlighted by the religious aspect. It is the culmination of the “novenas” leading up to 15th August - nine masses serving to prepare the festivities. The religious ceremony is presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese of Funchal. It is also the day when the faithful fulfil their pledges carrying candles.