It’s December! It’s Christmas and Funchal, and the whole of the island comes alive to the sound of music, street entertainment and lights. One of the busiest streets is Avenida Arriaga with its Christmas market “Mercadinho de Natal”, wood cabins stalls selling flowers and a rich array of traditional food and drink. Worried about missing any of the action? Well don’t be, as the Ritz Live Webcam at Avenida Arriaga and the Funchal Marina Live webcam facing the Avenida do Mar, harbour and Praça do Povo will be streaming all the action live.
Christmas Lights 1st December
And what better way to start the festive season than the official switching on of the lights in Funchal on the 1st December. The capital is alive with static displays, a winter wonderland in the Municipal park for the children, cabins selling a plethora of goodies and live entertainment from philharmonic bands throughout the city, choirs and folklore groups. This year, amusement parks filled with bumper cars, carousels, rides and circus acts will be at both Praça do Povo and Praia Formosa, providing fun, family entertainment.
During the 14th and 15th, Fajã do Penedo, Boaventura holds its celebrated Traditional Madeiran Delicacies Exhibition. Now in its 14th year, this two-day event is the perfect way to sample some of the islands famous cakes, breads and liqueurs. There is also plenty of entertainment provided by several folklore groups. Santa Cruz bubbles with life, light and festive cheer as the town celebrates Market Night on the 14th and 15th. And if your looking for some pure adrenaline this month, Avalanche Raposeira BTT race takes place on the 15th at 16h00 Fajã da Ovelha, Calheta.
Missa do Parto from the 16th to the 24th Churches throughout the island celebrate the nine childbirth masses, which herald the birth of Jesus. The services are beautiful and often accompanied by local choirs singing hymns.
Between the 20th of December and the 5th of January at Avenida Arriaga, there will be a series of workshops dedicated to the making of the islands famous honey cake and other local delicacies, traditional Christmas fare as well as plenty of Madeira wine tasting opportunities.
On the 21st Market night lovers will have the perfect excuse to party as Ribeira Brava, São Vicente, and Machico will be celebrating their Market nights. However, it’s the 23rd where Funchal explodes into life as Market Night attracts thousands of visitors. It’s bright, noisy and filled with Christmas cheer as shoppers, carol singers and entertainers create one of the most unforgettable nights. It’s also a perfect time to do a little last-minute Christmas shopping. Of course, one of the most memorable nights is on the 24th when the island's churches hold Midnight Mass, with perhaps the most popular mass taking place at the Sé Cathedral in Funchal.
On the 28th the São Silvestre race, the oldest race in Portugal and Europe takes place with runners of all ages racing along the streets of Funchal. It’s a great event and ideal for burning off all of those mince pies.
Ending December and the year in a wave of colour, excitement and music is the New Year’s Eve firework display 31st of December, which dazzles and delights audiences from both home and abroad. The build up to the fireworks is phenomenal as thousands of people flock to Funchal’s busy clubs, bars and restaurants, not only intent on enjoying the firework display but taking part in the biggest and brightest dusk to dawn party of the year. This year over ten cruise liners are moored either in the harbour or bay of Funchal, creating a magical atmosphere and ensuring that these celebrations are and continue to be the best in the world. Don’t forget the firework display will be streamed live from both the Funchal Marina and Funchal City Live Webcams.