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Although I was born and raised in Madeira, I spend a lot of time “en route” due to my profession, and that’s why I always try to be home for Christmas,  the month of the amazing Christmas Cribs: “escadinha” (over a wood ladder) and “lapinha” (over a mountain landscape).

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As we stroll along the streets of some localities of the island we are often invited by the locals to visit their homes. Some of the families dedicate a whole room with the Nativity Scene.  This experience will not end without having tasted the home-made sugar-cane honey biscuits (broas de mel) along with a glass of tangerine or passion fruit home-made liqueurs.

The “Escadinha”, with influences of other eras and places, have very deep roots here.

For this old popular tradition at Christmas, in order to form different shapes and constructions, they use various types of materials. Very common is the use of painted paper, tree branches and roots,  endemic plants, reeds, various types of mosses or lichens, sand, cotton as well as fruits. Finally small pots with the cornfields related with the good harvests such as wheat, corn, lentils, limbs etc., give the last touch to the decoration.

I love December at Home!

I love Christmas time!

Margarida Pereira (Official Tourist Guide)

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Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro