Midnight Mass (Mass of the Rooster) announces the coming of the Saviour. This religious tradition is deeply lived on the island of Madeira. Many families take advantage of the celebration to get together and socialize.
All the parishes in Madeira celebrate the birth, on the night of December 24 to 25, an important ritual derived from the 5th century and inherited from the Roman Catholics. It is said that the rooster was the first animal that witnessed the birth of Jesus, hence the name Mass of the Rooster.
All the churches of Madeira and Porto Santo pull all the stops out in preparation for the big moment, gracing the altars with flowers in season - orchids and anthuriums - and placing a crib with baby Jesus lying on straw. These nativity scenes are authentic "works of art" representing the birth of Jesus, with the angels, the shepherds in the hills, the three Wise Men and the star that guides them.