Christmas and New Year´s Eve Festivities
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 recognised in 2006 by the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest fireworks show in the world.
These commemorations consist of a rich and extensive programme of cultural, religious, ethnographic and artistic manifestations that take place throughout the entire month of December, an event that culminates on January 9th.
Find out more about what to expect from Christmas and New Year Festivities in Madeira, taking place between December 1st, 2022 to January 8th, 2023.
Other initiatives included in the programme:
Light and Sound Shows
Christmas in Funchal gains more colour and light as from the 1st of December. In several of the city's main streets, dazzling shows of colour and light related to Christmas, take over several roads, alternating between tunnels and dances, bringing more joy and emotion to this season.
Various performances - Central Walkway of Avenida Arriaga
From the 1st of December 2022 to the 8th of January 2023, downtown Funchal is filled with light, colour and melody. During this period, along the Central Walkway of Avenida Arriaga there are daily performances by various groups which animate this location with philharmonic bands, folklore groups and concerts.
Christmas Market - Central Walkway of Avenida Arriaga
Made up of several small houses with Christmas decorations, at the Christmas Market you can find the most diverse regional products such as regional gastronomy characteristic of the Christmas season, as well as plants, fruits, Madeira wine, sugarcane syrup and its derivatives. The Christmas Market can be found along the Central Walkways of Avenida Arriaga.
Ethnographic Village - Largo da Restauração
Located at Largo da Restauração, the Ethnographic Village represents various live traditions, handicrafts, gastronomy, folklore and two traditional nativity scenes, thus promoting Madeiran culture.
The traditional Madeiran nativity scene, located on the outside, reproduces our humanised and natural landscape, with its vegetation, terraces, valleys, riverlets, houses and stone sheds, as well as the staircase nativity scene or lapinha with characteristic elements (boy Jesus, arch, fruit, wheat, small breads, amongst others). At this venue you can also find the traditional wheat soup and the bolo do caco bread.
Twelve fibre figures are integrated in a traditional scene, with decorative objects, fabrics and flowers, predominantly in white and gold. The nativity scene gathers trees and a large panoply of regionally produced flowers and plants which makes up the setting, as well as a small house made of wood and mats, depicting the birthplace of Baby Jesus.
Madeira Embroidery and Regional Crafts Pavillion
An exhibition by the Madeira Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts Institute (IVBAM). A space where you can see and purchase embroidery and regional crafts on specific days. You can also taste Christmas delicacies with Madeira Wine.
New Year's Eve Fireworks Show - Funchal | Porto Santo - 31 December (midnight)
The fireworks show for the New Year lasts about eight minutes and is distributed across 59 fireworks stations located across Funchal’s amphitheater (27 stations), Pier 8 and Praia Almirante Reis (25 stations), at sea (5 stations) and Porto Santo Island (2 stations).
This grand show, with pyrotechnic effects which combines the most modern designs, will present effects not yet seen on New Year's Eve in the Region.
In 2006, this event was internationally recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as “The greatest fireworks show in the world”.
The New Year's Eve Fireworks Show will also be broadcast live on RTP-Madeira, in live streaming and on social networks. The sound will be complemented by the Radio broadcast.
"Cantar os Reis" (Singing of the Kings) - Municipal Garden - 5 January (9 p.m)
After the New Year's Eve festivities, the celebrations continue until mid-January. During this period, masses in praise of Baby Jesus are celebrated and, in many homes, the nativity scene is still mounted.
The Arrival of the Three Kings is celebrated on the 6th of December with the famous Bolo-Rei which has a broad bean and a small gift inside. Tradition says that, whoever finds the slice containing the broad bean will have to buy the cake the following year and whoever gets the gift will have to buy the drinks.
In the auditorium of the Municipal Garden, on the 5th of January, at 9 pm, the “Kings” are sung in a concert open to the public thus reviving this Madeiran tradition.