February 15th to February 26th
The Carnival, or Mardi Gras, celebrations in Madeira take the form of a great parade of floats the Saturday before Shrove Tuesday and remain an essentially folk festival.
Groups with thousands of participants flood the main streets of Funchal with music and contagious enjoyment.
This is a week of healthy madness that invades the hotels, bars and clubs, turning them into permanent parties.
In an atmosphere of effusive revelry there are surprising examples of creativity and imagination and there is no shortage of daring caricatures in the Cortejo Trapalhão costume parade on Shrove Tuesday.