It’s December and Madeira is glowing with winter magic and Christmas Delight. The month starts with a bang as the Christmas illuminations flood the city centre with light, colour and an abundance of illumined designs and themes. Funchal and towns throughout the island are ablaze with colour and music as bands and folklore groups entertain shoppers, residents and visitors to the island. December is designed to entertain, and there is no shortage of surprises, and with the Madeira Ritz Live Webcam overlooking Avenida Arriaga, home to some to the city’s main attractions, there is no excuse to miss any of this year’s festive joy or entertainment.
The International Festival of Digital Arts, more affectionately known as MadeiraDig is on until the 4th of December at the Mudas. Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Calheta. With names such as TUTU, Ana da Silva & Phew and Damien Dubrovnik the event is an adventure into the serious world of music. Blending modernity and Art Deco, the Madeira Micro International Film Festival held between the 4th to the 7th attracts amateur filmmakers from all over the world covering a truly global number of genres. This is a must for all cinema aficionados.
Throughout the month craft fairs will be held in the Municipal gardens and the gardens by the Cable car in Funchal; in addition to these, the English Church will be holding a craft fair on the 8th. During the 15th and 16th, the village of Fajã do Penedo, Boaventura will be holding its annual ’Delicacies Exhibition,’ which highlights and promotes Madeira’s traditional Christmas Fayre including a variety of honey cakes, biscuits and local liqueurs. On the 20th the English Church will be holding a Carol Service with singers from the Conservatorio - Escola Professional das Artes da Madeira, singing Portuguese Carols while performers Olga and Andrei Ladeichikov have been invited to play traditional Russian Christmas music. This is also a time for sober reflection and the Childbirth Masses from the 16th to the 24th reflect the islands Catholic faith, these ‘novenas’ take place in the early morning and are followed by carol singing and music. Of course, Midnight Mass on the 24th is celebrated throughout the island at both Portuguese and English churches and is a profoundly spiritual occasion.
On the 23rd it seems that the whole island has made its way to Funchal to enjoy the traditional and famous Market Night. The streets of the Old Town are ablaze with colour, stalls and people. It’s noisy, boisterous and totally encompassing as the streets embrace you as you try traditional foods, delicious fresh Poncha’s and join in, in the carol singing and general Joie de Vie. The market’s traditions are carried on throughout the island in the parishes of Santana, Machico, Santa Cruz, Câmara de Lobos, Estreito de Câmara de Lobos. On the 28th the oldest foot race in Europe takes place, the São Silvestre Night Race. This event has runners from all over the world competing against each other as they race through the capitals illuminated streets.
Of course, Madeira does what Madeira does best on the 31st, hold the best New Year’s Eve Party imaginable. It’s a day of anticipation, excitement, entertainment and family as many people as possible crowd into Funchal and the surrounding viewing points to watch and experience the End of Year Celebrations. With music and lights, Funchal’s amphitheatre is ablaze with colour and noise, and there is no better way to welcome in the New Year. And if you can’t make it, do not worry, as the Funchal Marina Live Webcam and Funchal City LiveCam will be providing non-stop coverage of the evening’s entertainment directly to your home.