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Christmas Traditions in Madeira

When travelling, we always want to experience everything of our travel destination, from local foods and history sites to cultural celebrations.

What better time to immerse yourself in Madeiran culture than at Christmas time!

Christmas is widely celebrated in Madeira as it is quite important holiday to the residents of the island. The festivities begin on the 1st of December and continue until the 6th of January, with many events occurring within this time period. Here is the list of how the residents of the island celebrate the festive season in all its glory:

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights, which covers the city of Funchal and surrounding areas, are switched on the 1st of December, and stay on throughout the festive season. These lights commence and conclude the Christmas festivities, transforming the city and surrounding villages into a whimsical wonderland.

The Night Market “A Noite do Mercado”

All roads will lead to the Farmer’s Market in Funchal on the 23rd of December. This event has been celebrated since 1940’s – where residents took advantage of the last opportunity to buy fresh fruit and vegetables for the remainder of the holiday season.

These days, the streets are filled with music, entertainment, traditional food and drinks. Solar do Ribeiro Luxury Apartments are ideally situated near the Funchal Farmer’s market – just 1.3km or 0.8 miles to be exact.

Childbirth Masses “Missas do Parto”

Childbirth masses or “Missas do Parto” is one of the oldest document traditions in Madeira, which occurs for 9 days, leading up to Christmas, to symbolise that Baby Jesus is the light that is born into this world. There are many churches within walking distance from Solar do Ribeiro for you to celebrate this joyous tradition when visiting Madeira.

Midnight Mass “Missa do Galo”

The Midnight Mass is celebrated on the 24th of December, after Christmas Eve dinner, until Christmas morning.

Midnight Mass is also known as the “Rooster Mass” because, according to a legend, the fowl was the first animal to witness the birth of Jesus.

Come and experience the very best of Madeira during the festive season – you won’t be disappointed when staying in Solar do Ribeiro’s luxury apartments.