Madeira is alight with the spirit of the holidays. Holiday lights line the streets, a Christmas market is bustling with festivity, and a fireworks spectacular returns to bring in the New Year. The program of activities runs through the month, culminating in a joyous festival of songs for Three Kings Day on 6 January.
Funchal plays host to much of the program, which touches on cultural, religious, ethnographic and artistic themes. Highlights include:
Market Night | 23 December
Shops and stands in-and-around the Farmer’s Market are open for last-minute shopping. As dusk falls, a show of carols, music and folklore raises the atmosphere of celebration.
Funchal Road Race | 28 December
A great way to burn off those Christmas dinner calories! Atheletes test their endurance in Portugal and Europe’s oldest sporting event of its kind.
Fireworks Spectacular | 31 December
Fireworks are dispersed around the city from the Funchal amphitheater and the waterfront, to the city center and, even, Porto Santo Island. This massive display earned the Madeira the honor of being named “the largest fireworks show in the world” by Guinness Book of Records in 2006.
Twelfth Night Songs | 5 & 6 January
Following the tradition of singing songs in neighbor’s houses to honor the arrival of The Three Kings, the musical production “Cantar os Reis” is performed in the Auditorium of the Municipal Garden of Funchal.
For more information, visit the Fim do Ano Madeira website.