Skip to main content

Christmas time and new year’s festivities

Madeira is from 1st December  to 10th January known for its beautiful Christmas lights and unique New Year's Eve fireworks in the island's capital, Funchal. As early as November, countless lights will be installed all over the island and Christmas cribs will be set up with loving attention to detail. From the beginning of December to the Holy Three Kings' Day there is a varied program of events.

8th December

On 8th December, the Christmas lights will be switched on and the towns and villages in Madeira will shine in many bright colours. All streets are illuminated with different motifs.

Christmas cribs

Various nativity scenes are being set up all over the villages and towns. There are no limits to your imagination.

23rd December Market night

This is a traditional celebration where the locals do their last Christmas shopping.
Around the "Mercado dos Lavradores", the surrounding streets are transformed into a real bazaar with stalls open all night. Various regional products are offered here: flowers, shrubs, fruit, vegetables, sweets, the traditional Carne Vinho e Alho and the drink typical of Christmas, the "Poncha".
Music and folklore groups contribute a lot to the entertainment and the festive mood until dawn.
You shouldn't miss this festival.

At Christmas time, the preparation of the popular “Bolo-de-Mel” (honey cake) and the “Broas de Mel” (honey cookies) and homemade liqueurs are part of all households.

24th December Midnight mass

The services "Missas do Galo" (Roosters Mass) announce the coming of the Redeemer. This religious tradition is lived very intensely on Madeira island. It is said that a rooster was the first animal to experience the birth of Jesus, hence the name "Missa do Galo".
The altars are decorated with flowers (orchids and anthuriums) and with a figure of Jesus lying on the straw. These cribs are authentic works of art that represent the birth of Jesus, with angels, shepherds in the mountains, the three holy kings and with the star that guides them.

28th December City run

The Funchal City Run is one of the oldest competitions in Portugal and Europe (since 1958). This competition, which over time attracted more and more national and international athletes to this region, fills the capital of Madeira with a lot of adrenaline and entertainment on the day of the competition

31st December New Year's Eve

The grandiose fireworks spectacle was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest fireworks display in the world (2006).

A highlight is to spend the turn of the year in Madeira, with the fireworks visible from the harbour. There are also many small stands with delicacies here. Fireworks from a ship are a special experience. The ships sail through the Bay of Funchal and celebrate the New Year with sparkling wine and music.

You can book places with us in the office  and let yourself be inspired by the colours and lights.

5th January

Families, friends and neighbors meet to move from door to door and sing the "Cantar os Reis" or "Janeiras".