· madeira traditions festivities funchal

São Tiago Menor festivities in Funchal

The city of Funchal pays homage to its Patron, São Tiago Menor (St James the Less) every year on the 1st of May. The Old Town of Funchal and particularly Santa Maria Street and Corpo Santo Square experience a special kind of revelry, in a party depicting a typical Madeira arraial (popular festivity).

São Tiago Menor is the Patron Saint and the Health Guardian of Funchal. Since 1538, when authorities handed over the guard of the city’s inhabitants health to São Tiago Menor, there has been the upholding tradition of honouring this saint with the Voto da Cidade Procession, a parades through the streets of Funchal’s Old Town up to Socorro Church.

Together with this event, a popular festivity also takes place throughout the Old Town: Corpo Santo Square, Santa Maria Street and the surrounding areas are particularly bedecked for this celebration with special animation and entertainment during 4 days.

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