Legend of Saint Sylvester

Legend has it that on the last night of the year, as the Virgin Mary was leaning out of the skies over the ocean, Saint Sylvester came to speak to her. Our Lady confided him the reason of her grief: she remembered the beautiful Atlantis, sunk by God to punish its inhabitants. As she spoke, Our Lady dropped tears of sorrow and mercy. Saint Sylvester noticed that they were not tears but authentic pearls. One of those tears fell on the place where the extraordinary Atlantis had existed, and Madeira island was born, which became known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. Ancients say that for a long time, on the night of St. Sylvester, when the clock struck twelve, a vision of light and fantastic colours appeared in the skies that would leave a vertiginous scent in the air.

Over the years this vision disappeared, but the people kept it in the famous festivals of the end of the year with fireworks to celebrate the Night of St. Sylvester.