Christmas in Madeira? Your Ultimate Guide for 2022

Having your holiday Christmas in Madeira probably will be one of your best decisions for this year. Normally and traditionally Christmas on the island are full of gastronomic and cultural activities, lights and colour throughout the island.

As we have shown before, Madeira island is one of the Top 5 Places To Spend Your Christmas Holidays in Portugal.

How is Christmas in Madeira?

Christmas in Madeira is known by the locals as the month of the ‘Festa‘. The Madeirans normally embellish their houses with traditional “lapinhas” (cribs), lights and flowers that are typical of this season. In terms of gastronomy, it’s common to make the typical delectable like honey biscuits, liqueur and/or meat in wine and garlic.

The entire amphitheatre of Funchal is covered with lots of lights, almost as if it were an illuminated map. The city centre is also decorated with various Christmas decorations. Outside the island’s capital, you will also be able to find several illuminated places with Christmas decorations.

Before Christmas Day, the traditional childbirth masses (nine masses) take place, which attracts many believers. Usually, after these masses, people gather to sing and share Christmas delights.

On the night of the 23rd of December, the traditional “Noite do Mercado“, Market Night takes place in the Farmers Market in Funchal (Mercado dos Lavradores), where people can buy their last purchases for Christmas. People also get together to sing Christmas carols. However, on previous days there are other market nights around the island.

What are the Main Events for the 2022 Christmas?

As already discussed in this article, you will be able to find a wide variety of events that will take place this festive season. Below we present the main activities or events to consider:

Christmas Illuminations and decorations

Christmas Illuminations and decorations – Images credit: Visit Madeira

At the beginning of December, the main streets of Funchal are brighter, with more colour and with different Christmas decorations. You can also find it in other cities on the island.

Typical Ethnographic village

Images credit:

The ethnographic village is located in Largo da Restauração and here you can find traditions, gastronomy, handicrafts, folklore and traditional nativity scenes.

A traditional Madeiran crib is present in this place, here you can view the natural and humanized landscape, with vegetation, terraces, valleys, streams, stone houses and even the most traditional crib with stairs on the island.

In this space, you will also find the traditional wheat soup and bolo do caco.

Christmas Market

Christmas Market – Images credit: Visit Madeira

This Christmas market is made up of small houses with Christmas decorations. Here you will find a wide variety of regional products like Madeira wine, sugarcane syrup, fruits, and plants, as well as the local cuisine of the season.

The market is located along the Central Walkways of Avenida Arriaga.

Nativity Scene

Nativity Scene – Images credit: Visit Madeira

There are twelve figures in the traditional Christian representation of Christmas. These figures are decorated with objects, fabric and flowers in shades of gold and white. The crib has trees and a wide variety of flowers and plants of regional production, which make up the scenery, as well as a wooden house and mats, representing the birthplace of Jesus.

Traditional Childbirth Masses

Images Credits: By Porto Bay Events –, CC BY 2.0,

As already mentioned, in Madeira, 9 days before Christmas, the traditional childbirth masses begin. These masses usually take place at dawn and a little throughout the island of Madeira.

After the masses, people gather outside the churches and start singing traditional Christmas songs as well as some “despiques” (rivalry songs). In these gatherings, they also taste the homemade delights of this Christmas season, such as Broas and Bolo de Mel, as well as liqueurs.

Conclusion about Christmas in Madeira in 2022

Madeira island is the destination for many throughout the year, even at Christmas time. In this article, we have shown a few things that you can do and explore if you decide to have your holidays at this time of the year on the island.

This is the time of year when you can do, discover and explore their traditions and customs with the Madeirans. Do not miss this opportunity to visit the island at this time of year considered by many to be magical.

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