Christmas and New Year Celebrations
Christmas and New Year Celebrations begin in November, when the lights are switched on in the center of Funchal, lasting all through December, and ending on Twelfth night (January). These celebrations are one of the most important for Madeiran people. Madeira Island and its New Year fireworks are registered in the Guinness world records having the biggest firework show in the world.
In mid-November the streets of Funchal are decorated with lights of all colors and sizes. This means the beginning of the Christmas spirit. Locals and tourists come to Funchal just to see and appreciate the beauty of Christmas decorations. In December, the streets fill with people in the atmosphere of great joy and happiness.
They get astonished with the beauty of flowers (holly and lady´s slippers, poinsettias) around the streets. Besides, there are also Christmas carols ringing out in the streets, in order to recreate the Christmas spirit. On the 31st of December, the amphitheater of Funchal, including Funchal bay gets ready for the biggest event of the year. There are a lot of fireworks stations.
Besides, this city is illuminated by more than 400,000 colored lights, whereas the hillsides are illuminated with white lights. When the clock strives twelve on 31 (December), the sky gets illuminated with lots of colors and hope for the New Year. This spectacle lasts for ten minutes. During and after the fireworks, people toast to a better year, with champagne, liquors, and also the typical Madeiran honey cake (made of sugar cane molasses and which is not cut by knife but hand broken).
Magnificent luxurious boats and cruises fill the marina of Funchal during the event. Lots of tourists stay in there in order to enjoy the mega spectacle.
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