Enjoy the most beautiful winter Holidays in Madeira!
Have you ever visited Madeira this time of the year?
Christmas is the most special event of the year, surrounded by special festivities, marvellous customs and beautiful traditions to be enjoyed by everyone.
Tourists all over the world come and join these special holidays together with their family and friends, enjoying the charming atmosphere which takes over Portugal and the surroundings, it’s mesmerizingly contagious, trust me!
The glowing streets from Funchal are absolutely astonishing! This magic time of the year brings the gorgeous decorative lights on Funchal’s streets, which get beautifully adorned with thousands of colorful lights, cheering up the entire community and atmosphere!
The arrival of the decorative lights in the streets of the city centre of Funchal, during the month of December, sets the beginning of the Madeira Christmas and End of the Year Festivities programme.
These festivities culminate with the famous fireworks show, officially registred in 2006 by the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest fireworks show in the world.
This is a special season for the Madeirans as traditions and customs are beautifully renewed. December is the month of the ‘Festa’, as the Madeirans call it. In addition to the dedication and intense activity of adorning the houses with the traditional “lapinhas” (cribs) and seasonal flowers, Madeirans also follow this very tradition of preparing typical Christmas delicacies, like honey biscuits, liqueurs or wine and garlic meat.
Before Christmas Day there are the birth masses, usually nine, which always attract many believers. At the end of these masses there is always a social gathering, where people share seasonal delicacies while singing Christmas Carols.
Market Night – 23rd December
The Market Night Party is a traditional celebration held on 23rd of December and lasting all night long. The famous Funchal market (Mercado dos Lavradores) and surrounding streets are filled with joyful people creating a real festive spirit, singing Christmas carols, dancing, enjoying special treats and drinks and having fun. All bars in the area are opened all night, serving traditional drinks and the special delicious sandwich “carne vinho alhos” wine and garlic meat, which is traditionally served during Christmas.
Christmas Midnight Mass – 24th December
Missa do Galo “Rooster’s Mass” is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, a traditional midnight mass celebrated in every Church on the island. The Midnight mass at Funchal’s Sé Cathedral is specially celebrated by the Bishop of Funchal, which is also televised.
The Firework Display – 31st December
Besides all the great celebrations throughout the month of December, the most wonderful part is the preparations for the New Year. There’s an incredbile festive atmosphere and daily entertainment wherever you go. Decorations, lights and the festive mood take over Madeira, which is so splendidly rich in tradition and becomes even more remarkable during this time of the year.
The fireworks show lasts for about eight minutes and it’s spread by several fireworks stations in the Funchal amphitheatre, the waterfront, the city centre, the sea and one station on Porto Santo Island.
There are a lot of wonderful activities in Madeira this time of the year and there are plenty of good reasons to spend the whole festive season on Madeira Island, always relying on Funchal Low Cost Transfers and Funchal Car Hire for transfers and car rentals with the best conditions together with your family and friends!