Going to the Farmers Market ‘Mercado dos Lavradores’ on the 23rd of December to purchase items needed for Christmas dinner has always been an important tradition in Madeira.However, this habit gained a new dimension when the youth of Madeira transformed it from a night of Christmas shopping to a night that incorporates Madeira style festivals. It is a party that lasts all night, with some excesses and lots of fun.
As nightfall begins the focus is on the fish section at the Farmers Market, where groups gather to sing traditional Christmas carols. The folk dancers and brass bands divide their groups amongst the vicinity of Market, Rua Dr. Fernão de Ornelas and the Old Town.
All night long local bars, restaurants and food/drink stalls serve typical delicacies such as ‘carne-de-vinho-alhos’ pork rolls flavoured with wine and garlic. And to drink there is plenty of Poncha and Madeira Wine. The Market boasts the best agricultural products and the most beautiful flowers of the island. This is indeed an evening of socializing and friendship, where the Christmas spirit prevails in a unique way.