Market night.

Noite do Mercado

Market night food stallsTonight (23rd) sees the traditional Market night in Funchal, focused  on the streets around the Mercado dos Lavradores, where thousands of Madeirans congregate, in what Visit Madeira describes as a “contagious buzz”, which also appeals to many visitors, as the festive season kicks off.
Many of the local streets around the Market are closed to traffic and become a display of local products, fruits, vegetables, flowers, sweets and typical Christmas drinks. There is lots of music and entertainment, together with food on sale, particularly the “carne de vinha d’alhos” (pork cooked in wine and garlic)
In the last twenty years, market night has become one of the trademark images of the Madeiran Christmas, although the tradition goes back to the 1940s when Madeiran people took advantage of one of the last opportunities to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for the holiday season.
The bars located nearby are open all night, joining forces to turn this into one of the longest and most social nights in Madeira, and the morning of the 24th one of the most hungover.

Crowds outside the Mercado on Market Night

6 thoughts on “Market night.”

  1. I don’t like garlic so when in Madeira I always need to tell the waiter that.

    In other words one word I know for sure is ”alho” as it is Portuguese for garlic.

    Hence I suspect it is pork cooked in wine and garlic (unless the term ”garlic wine” exists).

  2. Many recipes call it Carne de vinha d’alhos ( carne feminine noun)but I’m assured by my Madeiran friends the correct title is Carne vinho e alhos – ( vinho and alho being masculine).
    All very confusing and it drives me crazy whilst trying to learn the language !! – had I been joining them for tonight I would have been no doubt speaking Madeirense fluently by midnight – nothing to do with the poncha of course !!

    Wiki trivia – apparently Vindaloo is an Indian derivation of vinho d’ alho from the Portuguese conquest of Goa in the 16th century in their quest to discover the Spice Islands

    • Yes, in India they couldn’t get the wine and so vinegar was used. The spices were added and the name of the dish got Anglicised into Vindaloo – the fiery curries we het in the UK.

  3. I live just outside of Funchal but the noise is already picking up for the night of the market. A nice warm night for the celebrations! My friend holds fond memories of going with her father, but says it’s no longer not the enjoyable experience she remembers!


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