CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR ́S EVE at MADEIRA ISLAND
by: Andreia Rodrigues25 September 2017, Monday
All year round there are thousand reasons to celebrate in Madeira island… but Christmas & New Year´s Eve are unquestionably the most impressive occasion celebrated. The Madeirans call it The Feast! A rich cultural, religious, ethnographic and artistic programme take place throughout the entire month of December until the “Dia de Reis” (“Three Kings day”), held on January 6 th .
Be Local …
Xmas & New year’s Traditions
1. Don´t miss a Night walk to see the Xmas lights… take pics
It all starts at 1st December till 8 January with the colorful Christmas decorations and lights throughout the natural Amphitheatre of Funchal. When the night falls, Madeirans walk through the city to see the lights and take pictures. In fact, this is a delightful experience.
2. Go to the Xmas Market @ downtown
In Avenida Arriaga, there’s a Xmas Market. Here you can buy xmas flowers, handicraft, taste typical xmas food and local drinks. This is a “december meeting point” for locals ….
You can also see nativity scenes and “lapinhas” everywhere….
3. Sing Christmas carols with choirs… warm the voice and the soul
You can attend live performances of musicians and children choirs at streets in the city. Lovely…
let´s sing together!
4. Childbirth Masses & Midnight Mass… you must go!
The Christmas celebrations in Madeira begin with “Novenas”, which are called Childbirth Masses. They occur between 16th – 24th December. All Masses are celebrated usually at 5 and 7 am. It is an old tradition since the eighteenth century.
At the end of the Masses, the animation takes place in the churchyard, where the population meets and share food & drinks (especially hot cocoa, coffee, chicken soup, garlic butter bread and Madeiran honey cake) and sing hymns together.
The Midnight Mass “Missa do Galo” takes place at midnight from December 24th to December 25th and is celebrated after the Christmas Eve dinner.
5. The Market Night – unmissable!
The Market Night celebration is held on the 23rd of December. This is the night where the local Farmers Market is opened all night long, allowing Madeirans to do their last-minute Christmas shopping.
Market Night is held on December 23rd, when Madeirans do their last-minute Christmas shopping. The streets are closed to traffic, and we can buy local products such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, sweets, wine-and-garlic meat sandwiches and typical drinks, such as poncha.
At nightfall, the biggest attraction begins, a traditional Christmas carols show, where thousands of locals singing Xmas songs in all languages. Its’s unique. Also, the participation of music bands and folklore groups helps to maintain the atmosphere of celebration and fun until dawn.
6. Funchal Road Race - for those who like to run
Organized by Madeira Athletics Association, the Funchal Road Race is one of the oldest sports events of its kind in Portugal and Europe. This race that has attracted innumerable national and international athletes to the island, brings lots of adrenaline and excitement to the Madeiran capital.
7. New Year ́s Eve – The Highlight
The absolute highlight, however, is New Year ́s Eve. The orography of the city provides the ideal setting for one of the most beautiful firework displays in the world! Everyone attends and celebrates. It is beautiful and unforgettable.
8. January 5th to 6th the Twelfth Night…
On the evening of January 5th to 6th the Twelfth Night songs are sung in the neighbors’ houses, a little throughout the island. The musical “Cantar os Reis” at Auditorium of the Municipal Garden of Funchal, ends the New Year’s festivities.
9. 8th January the xmas lights turn off … 15th January officially ends The Feast
On January 8th, the xmas the xmas lights turns off .... January 15th Saint Amaro's Day is the day of "sweeping the cabinets"... and officially ends the long period of “The Feast” for locals. If you liked what you read what are you waiting for? Come and celebrate the next Christmas and New Year’s Eve, in Madeira!
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