Madeira: Xmas gastronomia; Traditional Xmas drinks; Xmas and New Year Traditions; Arts and crafts Market in Canico; How Bolo de Mel is made; First Pilot’s strike was cancelled; Sailing off madeira; Madeira from the sea; Natural beauty of Fanal;

Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:

Sailing off madeira
Madeira from the sea

Natural beauty of Fanal

Photogallery in Diario Newspaper Supplement on Sunday:
Arts and crafts Market in Canico

Arts and crafts Market in Canicothis weekend? organised by the the Canico Casa do Povo with 19 stalls.

How famous bolos de mel are made
Photogallery in Diario Newspaper:

Madeira: Xmas and New Year Traditions
The month of December can be the busiest for the locals … especially for those who are preparing for the holidays festivities and Madeiran traditions.
The Presépio
Traditionally the Presépios, the Christmas Nativities displays start from the 8th of December in homes, public places and businesses.
The Lapinha
Also, there are lapinhas a display of a baby Jesus figure on top of what looks like a miniature mountain.
In the centre of the display are usually fruits and the bottom there are small pots of freshly sprouted wheat.
The belief is that if the seeds are potted between 1st and 8th of December and if the wheat is later planted and grows well, a good harvest is assured.
Many Lapinhas are now elaborated with toys including plastic animals, miniature villages, wooden trunks and stones. Some more elaborate constructions boast even mountains made out of cardboard and streams and ponds. Sapatinhos (Ladies Shoes orchids) and other flowers are also used.

Missa do parto (Childbirth Mass) and Missa do Galo (Rooster’s Mass -Midnight Mass)
The Missas do Parto are one of the oldest religious mass celebrations in the Madeira region. On the nine days before Xmas Eve devoted Madeirans go to mass very early in the morning to pray for Mary’s nine months of pregnancy and each service is finished with a small get-together in front of the church including singing, music with traditional instruments such as rajão, braguinha and castanholas and enjoying home-made liquor. The celebration of the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary finishes on the 24th December with the midnight mass (Missa do Galo).
Missas do Parto are celebrated very early in the morning to symbolize the fact that Jesus is the light that comes into the world like sunrise.

Film of Missas do parto in Boa Nova in 2010
New Year’s Eve- 12 wishes
Also on New Year’s Eve Madeirans carry something borrowed, some coins … and 12 raisins so, at the stroke of midnight they can make 12 wishes … that might be granted until next December.
Madeira: Xmas gastronomia
“Carne de Vinho e Alhos” is a madeiran typical dish and consists of small pieces of pork meat. It is left marinated for at least for a day and in a mix of wine vinegar, garlic and bay leaf, before being cooked. This dish is normally served at Christmas time, traditionally on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th December.
“Canja de Galinha” (Chicken Soup) is usually served on Christmas Eve.
Madeira cake -Bolo de Mel
The world famous authentic “Bolo de Mel” (Madeira Cake-Honey Cake) is made of sugar cane, rum molasses and is hand cut. This cake is the oldest sweet on the Island, due to the fact that it dates back to the times when Madeira was an important sugar cane producer. Other sweets include Sugar Cane Molasses Biscuits (Broas) and Fennel Candies.
Christmas drinks
The main ones are “Poncha”, made of sugar cane honey, sugar cane rum, and lemon juice and liqueurs, such as Liqueur of Anise, Liqueur of Passion Fruit, Liqueur of Sugar Cane Honey, Liqueur of Sweetsop and Liqueur of Beer! These liqueurs are often served to accompany the Honey Cake and broas.
First Pilot’s strike was cancelled
From Portugal Daily View:
“SPAC – the Pilot’s Union announced late last Thursday that it had cancelled the strike because the government had shown “serious interest” in finding a “balanced solution” to involve the pilots in next year’s planned privatisation of TAP…”

Second four-day strike
“The union’s call for a second four-day strike 3-6 January remains in place.”

8 thoughts on “Madeira: Xmas gastronomia; Traditional Xmas drinks; Xmas and New Year Traditions; Arts and crafts Market in Canico; How Bolo de Mel is made; First Pilot’s strike was cancelled; Sailing off madeira; Madeira from the sea; Natural beauty of Fanal;”

  1. It has been said in the press the only isolation in Europe, Britain now faces, is similar to the man who missed his departure on the Titanic.
    Sarkosy and Merkle must realise now,instead of more regulation, treaties and beaurocracy what is needed in the Eurozone is to stop spending like there is no tomorrow.
    Look after the disadvantaged people in their countries to avoid another conflict caused by poverty and unemployment.
    Sarkosy should return the airbus just delivered costing over 100million fitted with a bread oven and return the money to state coffers.
    He can travel Easyjet like all of us.

  2. Thanks again Paul for the Christmas news, views and history – all interesting stuff.
    The “childbirth mass” is certainly celebrated in our local church in Gaula and is broadcast from 6 a.m. on loudspeakers – mass, music and all – we often “join in” with our early morning cup of tea, in bed! Although we do intend to join in this year……including the “roosters mass” which is a real family/village/friendly celebration here. It does tend to delay Santas arrival a little though…….!
    Thanks again Paul.
    Look forwards to seeing you again Martin – we’ll await your ‘phone call.

  3. Jon I think nearly all the churches offer both the missa do parto and the roosters mass but the celebrations outside the churches vary depending on the community. We hope that they do not broadcast the missa do parto at 6am in our community from the outdoor speakers…they did not previously.

  4. From the

    The Regional Secretary for Culture, Tourism and Transport, Student Conception, announced on Monday that the increases in public transport by 2012 rondarão to 15 percent.

    Student Conception revealed this at the inauguration of the bus company with free internet SAM – Society of Automotive Madeira, which makes the connection between the counties of Funchal and Machico.

    The headline of today’s DIARY is another blow in Madeira. The maximum rate of VAT in the region should go to the same value of the continent. That is from the current 16% to 23%! And there is talk in a road tax to replace tolls …

  5. Governments do it wrong again.
    Raising bus fares, Vat and Road taxes impacts greatly upon those who work with their sleeves rolled up, whilst higher income souls can shrug these new costs off.
    Governments MUST stop spending and borrowing.
    Not penalising their electorate.

  6. Martin Its mazing no country have used that report, while ago. Put the civil servants and all. On to monthly budgets and tighten up the waste. The saving would start from the 1st month and with luck jobs could be saved if all works out ok


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