Festivals (Arraiais)

In the Madeira Islands, all parishes celebrate religious festivities and pilgrimages, most of which are organized by the “festeiro” [host] - a person who pays the expenses of the festivity and the religious celebrations.

In these festivals there is always entertainment, with philharmonic and modern bands.

The areas and streets surrounding the church are decorated with colourful flags raised on wooden masts, ornamented with laurel or boxwood.

The wooden stalls ornamented with bay branches and other bushes are a pausing point for most visitors. At these typical stalls we can find a little bit of everything from sweets, and toys, to drinks, and varieties of food, among other things.

The food and drink stalls are among the most sought after at Madeira’s festivals. Always present are the traditional "Espetada Regional" (Beef Skewers), “bolo do caco (typical bread) with garlic butter, the regional wine or the traditional orangeade “laranjada”.

There locals usually gather to have the typical "Espetada Regional" (Beef Skewers), made with chunks of beef skewered on a bay branch are grilled directly over the coals on grills placed near the stalls. Men and women gather near the fire in a festive atmosphere.