Shrove Tuesday in Madeira

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Things to do


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February, 2024

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Shrove Tuesday in Christian countries is celebrated as the last day before Lent. (In Britain, for example, it is traditionally called Pancake Day) In Madeira it is a public holiday with a Carnival Parade called Trapalhao. This Satirical or Slapstick Parade is a cultural heritage event where local people dress up and it is categorised by social and political satire.

On the 13th February 2024 there did appear to be a “hospital” and “school” theme, which seemed to link in with an ongoing investigation into an abuse of power on the island. This alleged corruption scandal involves two local politicians and a scheme for awarding contracts for hundreds of public works including the construction of the new Madeira Hospital.

However, the overall theme of the event was all about “Peace and Love”. Throughout the previous twelve months the news from around the world was all about war and factions. So, this year the local’s Carnival parade was less about poking fun at politicians and more about nations coming together.

As an onlooker, I would say it is a lively and colourful event, which we enjoyed watching and would recommend.


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