Madeira(redirected from Geography of the Madeira Islands)
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Madeira,island: see Madeira IslandsMadeira Islands
, archipelago (1991 pop. 257,692), 308 sq mi (798 sq km), autonomous region of Portugal, in the Atlantic Ocean c.350 mi (560 km) off Morocco. Madeira, the largest island (35 mi/56 km long and 13 mi/21 km wide), and Porto Santo are inhabited.
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Madeira(mədā`rə), river, c.2,100 mi (3,380 km) long, formed by the junction of the Beni and Mamoré rivers on the Bolivia-Brazil border. It flows north along the border for c.60 mi (100 km), then northeast in a winding course through the Rondônia and Amazonas sections of NW Brazil into the Amazon River. At its mouth is Ilha Tupinambaranas, an extensive marshy region formed by the Madeira's distributaries. The river receives numerous tributaries from the southeast and is navigable by ocean vessels to the falls and rapids near Pôrto Velho, Brazil. There the Madeira-Mamoré RR begins a 227 mi (365 km) run around the unnavigable section to Guajará-Mirim on the Mamoré River.
a river in Bolivia and Brazil, the largest right tributary of the Amazon. The Madeira River is formed by the confluence of the Mamore and Beni rivers, rising in the Andes. The river is 3,230 km long from the upper reaches of the Mamore and drains an area of 1,158,000 sq km. The upper reaches of the river skirt the Brazilian Highlands forming a number of rapids and falls; from Porto Velho it flows through the Amazon lowland. In its lower reaches a right branch flows into the Amazon, and together with the Amazon and the Madeira, forms Tupinambaranas Island, with an area of about 14,500 sq km. High water usually occurs in summer (October to May), the rainy season. The discharge in the lower reaches is 4,200 cu m per sec at low water and 39,000 cu m per sec at high water. The water level may fluctuate 12 m or more. The river is navigable as far as Porto Velho, 1,060 km upstream. Porto Velho, Humaita, and Manicore are the principal cities along the river.
a strong grape wine with an alcohol content of 18-20 percent by volume and a sugar content of 4 to 9 percent, having a distinctive flavor and bouquet. The wine is aged in barrels in artificially heated rooms or in glass rooms heated by the sun. Ordinary Madeiras are stored at 60°-65°C for three months, medium-quality Madeiras are kept at 50°-55°C for four to six months, and high-quality Madeiras are stored at 40°-50°C for not less than six months. The best Madeiras are aged for another two years. After it has been treated by heat, the wine is blended. The wine derives its name from the island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, where it was first produced. In the USSR the best Madeira is produced in the Armenian SSR and on the Southern Crimean Shore.
St. Sylvester's Day
Because St. Sylvester's Day is also New Year's Eve, it is celebrated in Switzerland by lighting bonfires in the mountains and ringing church bells to signal the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new. It is a day for rising early, and the last to get out of bed or to reach school are greeted with shouts of "Sylvester!" In some Swiss villages, grain is threshed on specially constructed platforms to ensure a plentiful harvest in the coming year ( see also Old Silvester).
St. Sylvester's Eve is celebrated in Austria, Hungary, and Germany. It is not uncommon in restaurants and cafes for the owner to set a pig loose at midnight. Everyone tries to touch the pig because it is considered a symbol of good luck. In private homes, a marzipan pig may be hung from the ceiling and touched at midnight.
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 868
BkFest-1937, pp. 36, 49, 141, 176, 323, 347
BkHolWrld-1986, Jan 13
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 325
DictDays-1988, pp. 23, 36, 125
EncyChristmas-2003, p. 690
FestWestEur-1958, pp. 21, 84, 242
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 780
OxYear-1999, p. 540
SaintFestCh-1904, p. 48
St. Sylvester's Day (Madeira)
Portuguese National Tourist Office
590 Fifth Ave., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
800-767-8842 or 212-354-4403; fax: 212-764-6137
FestEur-1961, p. 135