Madeira Day

July 1 marks Dia da Madeira

The Madeiran Flag, portraying Madeira Day

Madeira Day with muted celebrations: Tomorrow sees an official holiday to celebrate Dia da Madeira, with July 1st being the date (in 1976) when Portugal granted autonomy to the Island. Although it is a public holiday only in Madeira, emigrants throughout the world traditionally celebrate the anniversary (in normal times!) – including a sizable number in London as reported in more detail in the blog in 2013, with an account from the blog of the Mayor of Lambeth of a party being held in Kennington Park, south-east London, in the area known as “Little Portugal”.

In the current pandemic, the celebrations are likely to be muted this year. Madeira Day is not to be confused with Portugal Day (10th June) which commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.

To commemorate Madeira Day various gardens and museums normally offer free admission on the day, but there doesn’t appear to be any information that I can find this year – I will add it here if it turns up. Again, in normal times, there are also various ceremonies in the centre of Funchal and throughout the region – among these are the “Solemn Session” of the Regional Legislative Assembly and the “Te Deum” Ceremony at the Cathedral (Sé) of Funchal. There is also normally a deposition of flowers by various regional officials at the Monument to Autonomy in the Praça da Autonomia.

Madeira Day concert without an audience

Madeira Day 1

One event that is taking place this year, but without an audience, sees the Madeira Classical Orchestra joining six well-known voices from the region to bring a unique spectacle on live TV, designed to avoid gatherings and to mark “the Day of the Region with pomp and circumstance”.

JN report that under the baton of conductor Francisco Loreto, the Madeira Day concert will be attended by Vânia Fernandes, Cristina Barbosa, Miguel Pires, Elisa Silva, Diana Duarte and Tiago Sena Silva. The soloists will give a voice to themes known to the general public in a program prepared by the CMO consisting of 15 works.

In addition to the 43 musicians from the Madeira Classical Orchestra, there will be 12 young people who attend the Professional Course of Instrumentalist at the Conservatório – Escola Profissional das Artes da Madeira.

The show, promoted by the Legislative Assembly of Madeira, takes place in the square of the Chapel of Santo António da Mouraria, next to the parliament. It is set in the historic centre, which includes the Cathedral of Funchal. It will be broadcast live locally on RTP Madeira, on July 1, at 9:45 pm, The event will also be transmitted on RTP Internacional for emigrants.

The concert will be held taking into account the rules and guidelines of health authorities for the COVID-19 situation. Given the health prevention measures, the organization asks people not to go to the venue, as there will be no sound projection off the stage, and the concert must be accompanied by television.

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