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December brings with it one of the most beautiful times of the year.

On a largely Catholic island, traditions are proudly fulfilled and lived for generations. Preparing Christmas is a busy time for families, from preparing liqueurs, sweets and honey cakes, decorating the house, making the crib, the whole island filled with light and colour.

The Tradition of going to the market on the night of 23rd December family lunches, exchanging gifts and waiting for one of the most important nights of the year, are part of every Madeiran Christmas.

On 31st December, the island receives the New Year with an unparalleled firework display, where magic simply happens.

Heaven is filled with colour and thousands of wishes of health and peace are exploded in the air.

Marbélia Gouveia (Official Tourist Guide)

Iluminações Funchal 2016 (18)

Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro