Milka [the Great{est} Dane]

sharing the colorful spots of my life…

New Year’s Eve: Legend of the Night of Saint Sylvester December 31, 2011

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 12:37 pm

Today is New Year’s Eve.


How about a legend related to it?


It’s about the creation of our beautiful island, Madeira.



And it goes like this…


Many, many years ago there existed a fabulous island in the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantis, and in it lived the most wonderful civilization ever. Its inhabitants, who Plato claimed to descent from the loves of the god Poseidon with the deadly Clito, had become so arrogant that one day they decided they would conquer the whole world. Their king even dared to defy God. Then God spoke to him and told him that nothing could go against the divine power. But the stubborn king challenged him once again and decided to conquer Athens. During the battle, the king heard the voice of God again, telling him that, to punish his arrogance and ingratitude, Athens would be victorious. And so it happened. And defeat was followed by terrible storms, earthquakes and floods that engulfed the beautiful Atlantis forever.


Many hundreds of years later, the Virgin Mary was bending from the sky over the ocean, sitting on a cloud, when St. Sylvester came to her. That was the last night of the year and St. Sylvester thought it should mean something different to mankind, to mark the boundary between past and future, giving them the opportunity to repent of their errors and to expect something better from life. The Holy Mother thought it was a very good idea and then told him the reason why she was watching the sea with such sadness: she remembered the beautiful Atlantis that had been sunk by God because of the errors and sins of its inhabitants. As she spoke, tears of sorrow and compassion dropped from her eyes because, despite the punishment, humanity had not repented.


Emotionally, Sylvester noticed that those were not simple tears felling from her eyes. They were authentic pearls!. Then, one of those tears fell into the place where the extraordinary Atlantis had existed, thus being born the island of Madeira which became known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. The old ones say that, for a long time, on the night of St. Sylvester, when the midnight chimes stroke, in the sky appeared a vision of light and brilliant colors in the air, leaving a stunning fragrance. Over the years this vision disappeared, but the people kept it in the famous Christmas and New Year’ festivities with amazing fireworks to celebrate the Night of St. Sylvester.



Hope you liked it and don’t forget to vote for the kind of legend you want next.



See you next year!!!


Festive slobbers,



9 Responses to “New Year’s Eve: Legend of the Night of Saint Sylvester”

  1. Pibble Says:

    Happy New Year to all!

  2. rumpydog Says:

    I’d not heard that story before. How wonderful! A very happy new year to your family.

  3. Bassas Blog Says:

    Wonderful story Milka! I love mythology and legends. Keep them coming!

  4. […] If you remember, the same happens with Madeira, as I posted in The Legend of the Night of Saint Sylvester. […]

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