Christmas and New Year

The Christmas spirit invades the city, starting this season with the launch of the Christmas lights and decorations that embellish the streets of Funchal in the first week of December.

The festivities of this season are celebrated with a wide range of events. From the Missas do Parto (Childbirth Mass) which consist of nine masses celebrated in the early hours of the morning to commemorate the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary to the Cantar os Reis, where families, friends and neighbours gather in the streets to sing from door to door.

One of the best-known events at this time of year is the Noite do Mercado (Market Night), which takes place on the 23rd  of December. Residents come to the marketplace, the Mercado dos Lavradores, (Farmers’ Market) to do their last Christmas shopping and throughout the night, there are stalls in the streets surrounding the market with a variety of local products, from fruit to the typical wine and garlic meat sandwiches and not forgetting the traditional regional “Poncha”. In the Fish Square, there are Christmas carols, in a unique and genuine Christmas atmosphere.

The year ends with the magnificent fireworks show, the ex-libris of Madeira’s Christmas tourism poster. Classified as one of the best in the world, the pyrotechnic show dazzles residents and visitors alike, with its vivid colours that light up the bay’s amphitheatre and make up an unforgettable postcard for those watching.

Christmas and New Year: December to January