Christmas Dinner

The Christmas table in Madeira consists of rich flavours and sharing. Throughout December people get together and warm up with drinks and cakes. They visit the homes of family, friends and neighbours and indulge in the seasonal delicacies.

Chicken Soup

Pork marinated in garlic and wine

Cod with onion, potato and cream

Stuffed turkey

Duck and rice

Sweet Potato

Tradicional honey pastry

Honey cake

Madeira Wine

Poncha

Sports

The Christmas atmosphere is everywhere in Madeira, whether land and sea:

The Volta à Cidade do Funchal, on the 28 December is one of the oldest Christmas races in Europe. Hundreds of athletes run along the main roads and avenues of the city, covering 6 km.

Sea diving is a great way to start the year! The Ponta Gorda Bathing Complex is the chosen location in Madeira for this international tradition. By participating in the Madeira Plunge (1 January 2020), you are also supporting a social solidarity association in Madeira.

Markets

Finding the perfect present for every friend, relative or colleague is easy in the Christmas markets. Find handicrafts, original objects, typical products and gourmet delights. At the same time, enjoy the concerts and shows on the programme. Be swept up in Christmas cheer!

There is a little Christmas market throughout December, with stalls in the main square of Avenida Arriaga

Market Night on 23 December fills up the streets around the Lavradores Market with people doing their last-minute Christmas shopping. The roads are closed off to traffic and the stalls offer fruit and vegetables, flowers, sweets, and of course the local alcoholic drink, poncha.

Camacha Market

Christmas Village in the Municipal Park



Parties

It all starts in early December, when the city’s Christmas lights are switched on. The Funchal hillside resembles a giant nativity scene. Join in with the parties happening throughout the city:

Celebrate Christmas and the New Year with Pestana

At the Pestana Hotel Group we celebrate this festive time with sheer gusto! In the comfortable and welcoming atmosphere of our hotels, you can dedicate all your attention to who you love the most, share stories and experience an unforgettable Christmas and New Year.
Get to know the Christmas traditions and gastronomy of each region, check out all the festivals, markets and sports competitions. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Chicken Soup

Pork marinated in garlic and wine

Cod with onion, potato and cream

Stuffed turkey

Duck and rice

Sweet Potato

Tradicional honey pastry

Honey cake

Madeira wine

Poncha



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Christmas Dinner

The Christmas table in Madeira consists of rich flavours and sharing. Throughout December people get together and warm up with drinks and cakes. They visit the homes of family, friends and neighbours and indulge in the seasonal delicacies.

The Missas do Parto (Childbirth Masses) take place in the early hours of the morning, on the 9 days running up to Christmas - one for each month that Our Lady was pregnant. They are accompanied by songs and groups playing strings, accordions and castanets. Volunteers decorate the churches and the informal gatherings take place afterwards with food and drink.


The Missa do Galo (Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve) is given by the Bishop of Funchal in the Sé Cathedral.


The ‘lapinhas’ are traditional nativity scenes made on a large scale, that can be seen throughout the island.


In the areas of Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar, residents visit each other’s houses and try the specialities of each family.

Traditions

Madeira has Christmas traditions that are truly its own, and differ from other regions of the country:

Sports

The Christmas atmosphere is everywhere in Madeira, whether land and sea:

The Volta à Cidade do Funchal, on the 28 December is one of the oldest Christmas races in Europe. Hundreds of athletes run along the main roads and avenues of the city, covering 6 km.

•Sea diving is a great way to start the year! The Ponta Gorda Bathing Complex is the chosen location in Madeira for this international tradition. By participating in the Madeira Plunge (1 January 2020), you are also supporting a social solidarity association in Madeira.

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The Missas do Parto (Childbirth Masses) take place in the early hours of the morning, on the 9 days running up to Christmas - one for each month that Our Lady was pregnant. They are accompanied by songs and groups playing strings, accordions and castanets. Volunteers decorate the churches and the informal gatherings take place afterwards with food and drink.

The Missa do Galo (Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve) is given by the Bishop of Funchal in the Sé Cathedral.


The ‘lapinhas’ are traditional nativity scenes made on a large scale, that can be seen throughout the island.


In the areas of Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar, residents visit each other’s houses and try the specialities of each family.

Traditions

Madeira has Christmas traditions that are truly its own, and differ from other regions of the country:

Parties

It all starts in early December, when the city’s Christmas lights are switched on. The Funchal hillside resembles a giant nativity scene. Join in with the parties happening throughout the city:

Markets

Finding the perfect present for every friend, relative or colleague is easy in the Christmas markets. Find handicrafts, original objects, typical products and gourmet delights. At the same time, enjoy the concerts and shows on the programme. Be swept up in Christmas cheer!

There is a little Christmas market throughout December, with stalls in the main square of Avenida Arriaga

Market Night on 23 December fills up the streets around the Lavradores Market with people doing their last-minute Christmas shopping. The roads are closed off to traffic and the stalls offer fruit and vegetables, flowers, sweets, and of course the local alcoholic drink, poncha.

Camacha Market

Christmas Village in the Municipal park

1 December - 5 January - funfair on the Praça do Mar


1 December - Christmas lights are switched on. They are not switched off until 6 January.


15 December - Missas do Parto


25 December - young people gather in the Old Quarter and on the Barreirinha beach complex.


26 December - this is a public holiday in Madeira and time for another family lunch.


27 December - revenge of the 90s, a party dedicated to the 90s takes place in a secret location only revealed on the day itself.

1 December - 5 January - funfair on the Praça do Mar

1 December - Christmas lights are switched on. They are not switched off until 6 January.


15 December - Missas do Parto

25 December - young people gather in the Old Quarter and on the Barreirinha beach complex.


26 December - this is a public holiday in Madeira and time for another family lunch.


27 December - revenge of the 90s, a party dedicated to the 90s takes place in a secret location only revealed on the day itself.

And suddenly the 12 chimes herald a new year and a future full of promises! 


30 of December - during the day, the Madeirans anticipate the end of the year with a laidback spirit. Friends, family and neighbours gather at parties and celebrations.


31 of December - the fireworks on the bay of Funchal were officially recognised in 2006 as the world’s biggest firework display by the Guinness Book of Records. The Pestana hotels organise dinners, suppers and parties to cater for all tastes. 

And suddenly the 12 chimes herald a new year and a future full of promises! 

30 of December - during the day, the Madeirans anticipate the end of the year with a laidback spirit. Friends, family and neighbours gather at parties and celebrations.

31 of December - the fireworks on the bay of Funchal were officially recognised in 2006 as the world’s biggest firework display by the Guinness Book of Records. The Pestana hotels organise dinners, suppers and parties to cater for all tastes. 

Celebrate Christmas and the New Year with Pestana 

At the Pestana Hotel Group we celebrate this festive time with sheer gusto! In the comfortable and welcoming atmosphere of our hotels, you can dedicate all your attention to who you love the most, share stories and experience an unforgettable Christmas and New Year.
Get to know the Christmas traditions and gastronomy of each region, check out all the festivals, markets and sports competitions. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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