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Legend of Saint Sylvester

On the last night of the year, being the Virgin Mary tilting in the skies over the ocean, St. Sylvester came to talk to her. The Virgin Mary confided in him the reason for her sadness: she recalled the lovely Atlantis, sunken by God as a punishment on its inhabitants. While she was speaking, Our Lady wept tears of sadness and compassion. St. Sylvester noticed that they were not tears but real pearls. One of these tears fell on the spot where the extraordinary Atlantis once existed now gave place to the formation of Madeira Island which from then on was known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. For a long time old folks used to say that, on the night of St. Sylvester, at the strike of twelve, took place a fantastic vision of light and colours that lighted up the skies spreading a fascinating perfume in the air.
With the passing of the years this vision disappeared, but locals kept this tradition alive in the famous New Year's Eve festivities using a fireworks display to celebrate the Night of St. Sylvester.

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