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New Year Festivities Madeira

Discover our best suggestions of things to do in Madeira during Christmas season and New Year celebrations. In Madeira, this is a time of many festivities and celebrations. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The end of the year in Madeira is very, very special! It all starts with the Christmas decorations and lights, which are always extremely colourful and extend throughout the natural amphitheatre of Funchal. Throughout Christmas, the city centre is very lively and full of joy and colour with shows taking place in the city’s main sidewalks and parks. Traditional cuisine is served in small stalls and Christmas songs are played in the background throughout the city centre.

The festivities are throughout the month of December until the “Dia de Reis” (“Three Kings day”), held on January 6th. During this festive season there are traditions that the Madeiran people have made indispensable. The “Lapinha” (representation of the Baby Jesus birth in Bethlehem) built with all the Madeira scenery, the “Missas do Parto” (church services in celebration of the impending birth of Jesus) held at dawn and give rise to animation in the early morning with the famous songs and traditional instruments, the “Cantar os Reis” (“Singing the Kings”).The famous “Bolo Rei” (“Kings Cake”) which hides a bean and a surprise gift within - tradition says that whoever, luckily, ends up with the bean has to buy the cake the following year and whoever ends up with the surprise gift will have to buy the drinks - . Finally, the approx. 6km foot race of “São Silvestre” which goes through half the Funchal city rounds out just some of the traditions that you have to discover in our Island!

One of the highlights is the market evening which takes place on Dec. 23 attracting a lot of the island’s population and tourists. It is held in the old municipal market and surrounding area where there are shows for all ages and tastes throughout the night.
The absolute highlight, however, is New Year ́s Eve. There is no doubt that Madeira is one of the most beautiful places to welcome the New Year. The orography of the city of Funchal provides the ideal setting for one of the most beautiful firework displays in the world! Everyone attends and celebrates: on the streets, on the sea on one of the large cruise ships or on dozens of yachts in the Bay, in private homes, in exquisite party halls and hotel ballrooms!
It is impossible to ignore the emotional spectacle and is truly unforgettable. Come celebrate in style the next New Year’s Eve, in Madeira!

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