Madeira, officially designated as Autonomous Region of Madeira, is a Portuguese territory with political and administrative autonomy granted by the Estatuto Político Administrativo da Região Autónoma da Madeira (Political - Administrative Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira), due to the Constitution of The Portuguese Republic. Madeira Island is part of the European Union due to the statute of the ultraperipheral regions of the territory of the Union, in accordance with article 299.º-2 of the Treaty of the European Union (EU).
The archipelago was discovered by the Potuguese sailors Tristão Vaz Teixeira and João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419, who named the island Madeira (wood) because of the abundance of wood on the island. Before that, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira discovered Porto Santo island in 1418. Then, in 1419, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco discovered Madeira.
The arrival of the decorative lights in the streets of the city centre of Funchal, during the month of December, sets the beginning of the Madeira Christmas and End of the Year Festivities programme.
These festivities culminate with the famous fireworks show, officially recognised in 2006 by the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest fireworks show in the world.
These commemorations consist of a rich and extensive programme of cultural, religious, ethnographic and artistic manifestations that take place throughout the entire month of December, an event that culminates on January 6th.
Find out more about what to expect from Christmas and New Year Festivities in Madeira, taking place between December 1st, 2019 to January 6th, 2020.
Floral species originating in many parts of the world bloom in Madeira, as the island meets specific climatic conditions that allow species from both tropical and cold regions to flourish.
Madeira Carnival festivities offer a variety of activities you can choose from, with the option to enjoy them as a simple spectator or as an active participant.