Funchal Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

Funchal Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

Funchal Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

December is a very special month on Madeira.  It brings along the much sought-after Christmas season, atmosphere and delights.  Even if Madeira is never cold and the island does feel festive!

The Christmas Preparations

The city of Funchal starts hanging the extensive Christmas decorations and lights during the month of November.  The kick-off of the Christmas season is December 1st, date when all the magical lights are being turned on in Funchal.  These are not your ordinary little lights, but Funchal and Madeira go full out.  Expect to be blown away…  These lights are switched off on January 8th.

Christmas Lighting Funchal Madeira
Christmas Lighting Funchal Madeira

Traditional Christmas Market

A Traditional Christmas Market takes place every year on the Avenida Arriaga – in the center of Funchal.  Many wooden booths allow you to sample local products and delicacies.  Choirs sing Christmas Carols. Various folklore groups dance every night.

Christmas in Funchal Madeira

December 23rd – Noite do Mercado – Night at the Farmer’s Market

Originally, this is when people came to the market (Mercado dos Lavradores) to purchase fresh products for their festive Christmas dinners. Nowadays, the Funchal market as well as the surrounding streets are transformed into one big party or celebration lasting all night long.  Typical drinks such as Poncha or Madeira wine will flow all night.  The typical Carne Porco Vinha d’Alhos or marinated pork will still the hunger of the many party goers.  Many folk bands and folkloric groups perform all through the night.  Locals nickname it the longest night of the year.

Funchal Christmas Lights, Madeira

60th Funchal Road Race – Funchal Saint Silvester Race

The Madeira Athletics Association organizes its famous Race on December 28th.   Furthermore, this is Portugal’s oldest race.  Furthermore, it is one of the eldest in Europe as it started in 1958.  The race is approximately 6 kilometers long and attracts national and international participants alike.

New Year’s Eve Superlative Fireworks

Fireworks in Funchal Madeira

The fabulous Fireworks earned Madeira a Guinness World Record as the largest ever Firework in New Year 2006-2007.  Hence, these incredible fireworks are a major highlight of the festive season.  The amphitheater shape of Funchal allows for a breathtaking display.  Be prepared to enjoy the massive bursts of color all synchronized along the amphitheater.  We recommend you stay in town after the 8-minute-long fireworks as the highway becomes a parking lot and party area.  Trying to drive outside of Funchal is pointless.