If you are searching for a destination to spend the yuletide season, Madeira is the place to be. For one, it boasts of the largest fireworks display anywhere in the world! A fact acknowledged by no less an authority than the Guinness Book of World Record since 2007. All over the world, the New Year is usually celebrated with much excitement, and the beautiful garden island of Madeira is no exception. But the significant distinction about the yuletide celebration in Madeira is the fireworks display.
Countdown to the New Year begins usually from Christmas Eve, and it’s arguably the most globally celebrated season with pomp and fanfare.
In most parts of the world, Christmas trees and bright decorations adorn homes, offices, streets and other public places with festooned Christmas lights, glowing brilliantly at night. Gifts, cards, hampers and goodwill messages are sent to loved ones and friends, while kids and little ones spot fancy clothes and get to taken to see Father Christmas who gives them Christmas gifts.
In Madeira, the festive mood begins to light up as early as November with the stringing up of Christmas lights and other attractive decorations in homes, streets and various places. The streets of Funchal are elaborately decorated, and on the 1st of December, the colorful lights in the main streets are switched on. This officially marks the beginning of the festive season and the lights stay on until the first week of January.
Throughout this period, there are street parties and all kinds of delightful fun as people flood the streets to celebrate, especially on Christmas Day and New Year’s day. On New Year’s Eve, celebration is in full swing everywhere on the island, from homes, hotels, bars and the streets. As the hour approaches, the crowd fills up the bay area to see the fireworks.
Earlier in June, as part of the month-long Atlantic Festival, a fireworks contest is held and the winner of the pyrotechnic display gets the honor of lighting up the New Year Eve Fireworks. As the clock strikes 12 midnight, the record-breaking fireworks display is set off simultaneously from about 50 posts, lighting up the city’s night sky in a spectacular dazzle.
The best views of this brilliant exhibition of lights and color is from the sea. Several boats and catamarans are available at various fees offering snacks and champagne on board. By 22:30 hours, they usually set out to sea and return at 01:00 hours after the show.
Here’s wishing everyone a prosperous New Year ahead.