Reis Magos
A monumental Adoration of the Magi, from the early sixteenth century (anonymous Master of the Adoration of Machico) – Sacred Art Museum in Funchal (MASF)

The first month of the year was dedicated to “Janus” the god of  beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time in the ancient roman religion. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. Therefore we wish all our readers a Happy New Year 2019.

January 1st – Madeira plunge – around noon:

A tradition in many places across Europe, not exactly a tradition among us, luckily the ocean waters here are not so cold as in other places and we invite a few brave for the first plunge of the year at Ponta Gorda Bathing Complex, also known as “Poças do Governador”.

For further information please visit the website hereunder:


reis magos

January 5th & 6th – Singing the “Janeiras” – Auditorium of Municipal Garden – 09 p.m.:

On the evening of January 5th to 6th the “Cantar os Reis” (Twelfth Night songs) are sung in the neighbours’ houses, a little throughout the region. This is a popular tradition from all Portugal, with a more common name of “Janeiras” and brought to Madeira region where is better known as “Cantar os Reis”. Therefore don’t be surprised to see groups of locals, walking and singing, door to door, in various sites of the Island. Further to this, in the Auditorium of the Municipal Garden of Funchal, it will take place a musical show “Cantar os Reis” ( The Twelfh nights songs) organised by local Associations.

Please visit the website hereunder for more informations:

January 6th – Epiphany or Three Kings Day or The three Wise men:

January 6, which is 12 days after Christmas in the Gregorian calendar, marks not only the end of the Christmas holidays but also the start of the Carnival season, which climaxes with Mardi Gras.

One of the symbols of this day is the Bolo Rei (King Cake). This cake is  particular favorite of the Portuguese during Christmas and is traditionally eaten on January 6, during Epiphany. It is a round cake glazed with fruits, nuts and sugar. There are other versions but more recent.

Among us it not a holiday but it will be celebrated in the churches.

Festas de Santo Amaro - events January

January 11th to 15th – Saint Amaro’s Day- Santa Cruz centre -East Madeira

This day marks the end of our “Festas”, Christmas and New Year celebrations. Saint Amaro is the patron Saint of Santa Cruz a small town on the east of Madeira, very near the Airport. There will be a full programme of activities including musical events, handicraft, showcooking, etc.

Note: Saint Amaro or Amarus the Pilgrim was an abbot and sailor who it was claimed to have sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to an earthly paradise. On his return journey, he established himself at Burgos, where he founded a hospital for lepers. There are other versions or legends.  Please see the programme for the festivities hereunder:

January 20th – Funchal Marathon

The Madeira Athletics Association (AARAM) promotes this major international sporting event to be held on January, 20th.

This sports event consists of three main races, the Funchal Marathon (42.195,00 meters), the Funchal Half Marathon (21.097,50 meters) and the Mini marathon (5.900 meters).

This race will once again be run on a flat course, almost entirely on a closed, attractively landscaped circuit, offering the perfect setting for healthy competition between athletes from different nationalities. (Madeira tourist office website)

Please visit the website for further informations:

January, 27th – Panelo Feast/Panelo lunch – Chão da Ribeira (Seixal – Porto Moniz):

This is an old Madeira tradition but more common among the villagers of Seixal on the north of the Island – all day.

This social gathering takes place early in the morning at Chão da Ribeira, on the first sunday after the religious feast of St. Antão, an occasion where families come together to prepare the “Panelo”, a culinary dish made of vegetables and blood sausage, very similar to “Cozido à Portuguesa” (Portuguese stew).

In recent years tourists started to participate in this sort of friends and neighbours special reunion. Nowadays is very popular and advertised within acquaintances

Please visit the website for more details:

Maria do Monte Pereira (Official Tourist Guide)

Happy New Year 2019



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