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Christmas time in Madeira

Published by Iva Štěchová — one month ago

Blog: Discover Madeira
Tags: Erasmus blog UMA, UMA, Portugal

Christmas in Madeira

Obviously, Christmas is celebrated in Madeira and even though it seems that people from Madeira enjoy the New Year’s Evening more than Christmas as so, streets look brilliant! There are so many Christmas lights in the streets of Funchal (and not only there). The whole town is beautifully decorated. There is even Santa Clause’s villagein the park next to Avenida Arriaga.

Christmas time in Madeira

Picture: Christmas lights everywhere!

Some people might think that it is too much of those decorations and lights, but as I could see, loads of people go there just to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere and they cannot stop taking pictures with the lights or Santa’s elves and sledges.

I considered it beautiful and unique. Prague is usually a place where Christmas decorations are considered to be one of the most beautiful but it cannot be compared with Funchal. It is so different. There was just one thing I did not really understand. There was a huge Santa figurine in Avenida Arriaga. He was wearing the typical clothes that Santa normally wears, but people were taking pictures with him in shorts and short sleevesduring the day.

Christmas time in Madeira

Picture: Santa without snow.

Noite de Mercado

In many countries, Christmas happened to be a synonym for words like stress, rush, spending of money. For many of us it should represent love, calmness and religion celebrations. Though, in Madeira, it is a bit different. It could match a word “party”. Yes, Christmas is not really about presents there, but about religion, vegetables and partying in streets of different towns.

Noite de Mercado in Estreito

So I was taken to Estreito da Camara de Lobos on 22 December 2018 to get a unique experience of Noite de Mercado (the night of market). Again, I did not know, what that event should mean. I really did not understand the there would be a party in streets of the town and the market would be opened the whole evening. Finally, we reached Estreito and started enjoying the event. It is really about partying as there are some DJs and music bands which play music live.

If you are hungry or thirsty,, you can get some fast food and many kinds of drinks from “(snack) bars on wheels” which come to serve just because of the Christmas celebrations. Though, if you are on a diet or you simply love vegetables and fruit, you should visit the main building of the market which is opened the whole night long and people sell many different types of what is mentioned above.

There was even a nice firework. People stay till late hours, I should say: till morning hours. They walk from a stage to another stage, they drink and eat, they chat with their friends and acquaintances and dance, dance, dance.

Christmas time in Madeira

Picture: Even Christmas trees are completely different.

Noite de Mercado in Funchal

One of the biggest Christmas celebrations (parties) is hold in Funchal. Many people from all over the island go to Funchal to get stuck in its streets. Seriously, it is so full during the night from 23 to 24 December! You can barely move.

There were so many people last year, that I could not even enter the main market building. I just got inside when it was really, really late and many people left Funchal. I enjoyed experiencing that night because I had never seen before that Christmas would be celebrated in this way.

It was great that (when there were less people) one could walk to many parts of Funchal and there was always a music playing.

Christmas time in Madeira

Picture: Funchal really brings the magical atmosphere!

Even though it was a special event for me, I consider it very tiring! We celebrate Christmas day and evening on 24 December in my country. However, as it is celebrated differently in Madeira, they have really no problem to stay till the morning. Well, we left the party around 3 o’clock in the morning and when I woke up, I got shocked! “Wake up, wake up, it is already 11 o’clock. It is a midday back home. I have to cook a lentil soup and prepare the traditional Czech Christmas dinner so I can have a Skype dinner with my family!”

Christmas abroad

Do you want to know what it is like to spend Christmas time without being personaly with your family? Do you want to know how Portuguese families celebrate Christmas? I will tell you in the next article!

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