Madeira Christmas season
Madeira starts experiencing the Christmas feeling on its streets, specially downtown Funchal by the 1st of December, when Christmas illuminations light up on the and each day more decorations are being put on until the 8th of December. By then everything will be already prepared to celebrate Christmas in Madeira, traditionally called “A Festa” which means “The Feast”.
In the past Christmas was the only big celebration which all Madeira people joined, this is why it is called A Festa as there were no other celebration like this one. It would start early in December with the pig’s slaughter, then people would build the traditional Christmas scene on their homes and parishes and, on the 16th of December, the childhood masses Missas do Parto in portuguese, would wake up everyone very early to join processions towards the church.
These are some traditions that one might still see on Madeira rural areas. A Festa will last until the 15th of January, Santo Amaro’s Day or, for other’s it only lasts until the Epiphnay’s day on the 6th of January.