Christmas lights: no concessions

“Funchal has come out with all guns blazing”

Christmas lights: no concessions 1
Image: Homem de Gouveia/ Lusa
Christmas lights in Madeira

The Portugal Resident has the headline: Hang the expense! Funchal to be lit by 1.6 million Christmas lights this festive season

The website notes that the “Only ‘concession’ to the energy crisis is they turn off at 1am, not 2am… most of the time“.

“With witterings on the mainland about ‘saving energy’ with reduced Christmas light displays, Funchal, Madeira, has come out with all guns blazing.”

The regional secretariat of tourism and culture has today announced that “about 1.6 million lights will be switched on from December 1, marking the beginning of Christmas and New Year celebrations that will run until January 8.” The information was sent to the Lusa press agency.

“The announcement barely acknowledges the ‘constraints’ of rising energy prices, stressing streets buildings and different parts of the city will be bathed in festive cheer, along with various ‘novelties’, like video mapping (on the corner of the Cathedral and north wall of the Palace of São Lourenço); a 30-metre high Christmas tree in CR7 square, which will also (amazingly) “function as a photobooth”.”

“Funchal pier won’t be forgotten either – it will be offering “an electronically animated tunnel” providing visitors with “a walk between the waters towards an angel”; while other spaces of the city “will have different interactive technologies, namely augmented reality, which, “through a mobile application, will present animated Christmas figures synchronised with music”.”

“Some places will have sensory technologies that trigger different animations in the lighting with the presence or passage of people, adds press agency Lusa.”

Christmas lights: times

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This year the Christmas lights come on at 6:00 pm and will be turned off at 1:00 am on most days, unlike previous years, when they usually closed at 2:00 am, in order to reduce the energy consumption.

There are, however, exceptions for the 23rd, 24th and 31st of December, with the lighting being turned off at 6:00 am, and on the 25th and 30th of December to be turned off at 4:00 am.

The Regional Secretariat for Turismo refers that it has already had this concern with energy consumption for several years, pointing out that the electricity bill consumed by Christmas lights in the Madeiran capital has been reduced by around 70% in 10 years, “as a result of the growing compromise to increasingly economical and environmentally friendly lights”.

“This reality did not imply a decrease in the distribution of lights. On the contrary, it has even recorded growth and innovations annually”, he adds.

The ‘Mercadinho de Natal’ , installed every year on the central plaque of Avenida Arriaga, will also be in operation between December 1st and January 8th. It opens every day at 10:00 am, and on Fridays and Saturdays it closes at 01:00 am and on the other days at midnight. There are also exceptions for the 23rd, 30th and 31st of December, closing at 04:00.

On December 25th and January 1st it will be closed and on Christmas Eve it closes at 18:00.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

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All the incidental from Madeira – up to 60 reports per day – is being picked up automatically, translated, and posted on our sister website, madeiraislandnews, no matter how trivial:

9 thoughts on “Christmas lights: no concessions”

  1. For the non-classically educated, the translation is Bread and Circuses. Which refers to the early Roman Emperors method of keeping the peasants happy. Peter, how much bread would there be to keep the peasants happy without the lights which bring in the Tourists? You can say the same about the World Cup.


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