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New Years Eve in Funchal, Madeira: Fireworks And Festivities In One Of The Top Holiday Destinations In The World

Updated on November 29, 2014
Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel lives on the Island of Madeira. A beautiful small Island that enjoys a warm climate and beautiful landscapes. A jewel in the ocean.

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A Smoky Sky Extends Over The City

Fireworks in Madeira
Fireworks in Madeira
Hot chestnuts
Hot chestnuts
Traditional portuguese cake
Traditional portuguese cake
City lights and decorations in Funchal
City lights and decorations in Funchal
Fun train in Funchal City
Fun train in Funchal City
Snow capped  (fake) cabins in Funchal City
Snow capped (fake) cabins in Funchal City
Street lights in Funchal
Street lights in Funchal

The Magic Of A New Year...

New year is a wonderful time of the year. A time to celebrate with family and friends. A time for reflecting on the past and contemplating our promises for the future ahead.

We can welcome in the New Year with gusto, and say farewell to the old with a shrug of our shoulders or for some of us a knowing little smile.

New Year resolutions to be good or at least be better fill us with enthusiasm. The thrill of a clean slate and the promises we make to ourselves all contribute to this wondrous magical night.

The night itself for me is always expectant. Full of joy that I share with those most near and dear to me. I love the cheer that the New Year brings and the positivity that people share in the on coming year. Most of all I love being in Madeira: The best place to celebrate the New Year festivities.



The Island of Madeira, Portugal puts on a fabulous entertaining show every Christmas and New Year without fail. Small winter log cabins line the city centre. A big sleigh complete with reindeers beckons to children to climb aboard and explore the toy filled carriages.

A huge santa towers over the passing crowds with his sack of presents on his back. Lights and decorations of all colours rise above the streets and surround the harbor. The trees in the parks are dressed in pretty coloured fairy lights and huge Christmas baubles.

The city beckons to all, to come and taste her Christmas wares. Hot chestnuts stands send out swirls of smoke. Delicious smells fill the air; garlic bread, fried onions, hot dogs, Christmas cakes and cookies, sugar donuts, candy floss and fresh pastries. Traditional dishes such as pork marinated in white wine, herbs and garlic is served in fresh crusty rolls to facilitate the hungry wonderers as they observe all the New Year festivities.

Thirsty onlookers enjoy local beverages; madeira wine, beer and cocktails: Pe de cabra, Nikita and Poncha severed in plastic glasses to encourage folk to continue their meandering in the lead up to the big display.

The streets are full of people walking about embracing the ambience of Funchal in all it's glory. A perfect picture of what New Year should be. Expectant and electric.

Champagne bottles are lined on walls waiting to pop. Little bars spilling people out onto the streets. Stalls busy selling drinks and food to smiling faces. Tuxedo clad gentlemen link the arm of their wonderfully dressed ladies as they saunter happily on their way to New Year parties.

Denim legs with furry boots walk amid stiletto heels. Woolly hats are friends among stylish hairdos. Youthful bare shoulders draped by lovers arms. Big shoes walk side by side with tiny booted feet. Everyone and anyone adorn the streets of Funchal in perfect unison.

Among the crowd an old man shares hot chestnuts with his granddaughter. Music plays echoing through the city. Lights and decorations line the streets creating a mystic wonderland of colour. Everyone is happy. Loved ones are greeted with hugs and kisses as they join their party. The city is brimming with happiness and a contented easiness oozes from the crowd.

The cruise ships in the harbour are lit up like giant Christmas trees. The guests all on deck cling to the railings dressed to the nines and sipping champagne. They wave at the folk gathered along the pier and the jolly folk on the pier wave back. The atmosphere is overwhelming.

Smaller boats are dotted about the harbor. The people aboard delightedly looking to the sky in anticipation of the firework display to come.

So much to see, hear and taste. The energy sizzles. The atmosphere expands like a bubble about to burst. Adults become the child they once were, and children are delirious with expectation. The clock tics. Everyone is silent; looking sky ward and finally; it happens.

A roaring cascade of colour rips and roars through the sky. The amphitheater setting of the city erupts in a volcano of the most exhilarating colours and shapes. The midnight sky is a ceiling of exploding rainbows and showers of falling colours decorate the city roof tops.

Every where you look the eyes dazzle. People kiss and hug their loved ones. Drink their champagne and toast each other in sweet harmony. The New Year has arrived in the grandest of style.

The cruise ships sound their horns, sending a melody to greet the sky. Together the city stands in celebration beneath the heavens. All eyes stare in awe at such wondrous beauty made by man ....

And then, silence within a smokey sky. People begin to stir. Some sit and sip champagne, laughing with infectious merriment. Youthful faces in their glad rags head to dance the night away. Tuxedos and fancy dresses swing their bottles of moet as they sashay on their way.

Families gather together, to celebrate some more. Jolly voices playfully loud. Sweet kisses and lovers smiles. And the old guy and his granddaughter are swallowed by the crowd.

© 2009 Gabriel Wilson


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