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7 Fun New Year Superstitions in Madeira

If I was spending New Year’s Eve in Madeira for the first time, I would be very excited…

Why?

I can mention the award-winning firework display, the joyful locals, the beauty of Funchal’s bay, the magnificent cruise ships by the harbour, the Christmas lights, the after-parties, the music concerts and so on…but it’s something that is so unique that no words can make justice to what you experience in Madeira. You have to come and see it for yourself.

To help you get prepared for this evening, I thought I’d share with you some fun superstitions about this evening. Some of them you might have heard before, others not. If you do come to Madeira on New Years, here are a couple of things you can see and try…

  1. Turn on the lights of your home and open all the windows.

I remember ever since I was a little girl, my mum always had this ritual. She said it would make the bay of Funchal look even prettier and it would welcome the new year into the house. Whatever the true reason is, there’s no doubt that Funchal bay is shinier than ever throughout this night….

2. Play with firecrackers.

There’s a big tradition of buying your own fireworks in local shops. People usually play it on the streets, belvederes or balconies, few hours before midnight. Some say it’s to send the bad spirits away…As a child I used to find it exciting and scary at the same time but it was something that I only experienced on that particular night, so it was quite special for me.

3.Climb on a chair.

My Grandmother-aunt Maria always did it. She said it meant the next year would be better than the last and so she always told her grandchildren to climb a step or on a chair at midnight…I still do it today.

4. Shout “Happy New Year” out loud.

Indeed! So that he can hear you well!

5. Dress up in style for the new year.

You should welcome the new year in your best suit. Man usually wear a dark suit or a tuxedo and ladies wear their stylist dresses. You know what they say…

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

6.”Show him” the money.

Keep the biggest note of euros on your pocket and show it to the moon. It should bring the new year good luck and prosperity.

7. Eat 12 dry raisins and make a toast with champagne.

Pick up your dry raisins before midnight. Count twelve and keep them in one hand. Think about 12 wishes and as you eat each raisin, each wish will be fulfilled on the next year. Get a glass of champagne and make a toast to the night! Cheers!

I hope the new year is a good one. Health, peace and love.

Search for the lights on the mountain that display the number of the old year. At midnight the last digit changes to the New Year.

Feel the explosion of emotions that is the New Year’s Eve in Madeira.

Feliz Ano Novo!

“sample video” New Year Fireworks Madeira.mov

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2 Comments

  1. My grandmother used to say the same thing about the lights. It is actually to do with the mysterious lights (probably a meteor shower) that appeared in the sky on the night of St Silvester. And that’s another whole story and another reason we use fireworks to light up the sky.

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