A warm traditional Christmas in Madeira
We are getting ready to say “Merry X-Mass!” And we’re still on the lookout for new and interesting destinations for the winter season. How about spending a warm traditional Christmas in Madeira, the island of the eternal spring? While this might sound a bit contradictory – winter in a place where spring never fades – there are dozens of experiences to explore and beautiful places to go to on the archipelago.
There are traditions that make life on Madeira Island ever more colorful and there is that special life that the town of Funchal and Porto Santo take when lit by thousands of electric lights. Because Madeirans are big on light, whether we are talking about Christmas decorations or the spectacular, unique fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
Presepio is the local form of the Nativity scene that can be encountered everywhere, from simple homes to churches, hotels and pubs. Business owners and locals love to boast with their own nativity scene and the art it was crafted with, so take a minute to admire their good work and they will be your friends forever! (In restaurants, you may even get free desert or something of the sort).
Lapinha is another display, only this time it’s just Baby Jesus on top of a figure that looks like a little mountain.
On New Year’s Eve, as people gather in their homes or at a private party, they carry – like in a wedding – something borrowed, something… material (some coins or money) and 12 raisins in their hand. The 12 raisins are for the 12 midnight wishes one is entitled for. With a little luck, they might even be granted by the next year’s end.