Santo Amaro in the Santa Cruz region of Madeira is a festival which signifies the end of the Christmas season on the Atlantic island. Held in honour of the local patron saint, this vibrant religious festival features latin dance performances, DJs, cooking demonstrations and lots of live music around the town in the days leading up to the feast day. The main event takes place on the 14th - the evening religious procession which sees thousands taking to the streets carrying their candles to the church. Within the home, this is the time to take down the Christmas decorations and finish up the seasonal food with a feast for the whole family.
Santo Amaro Festival officially takes place on 15th January but there will be plenty of events taking place in the days leading up to the feast day. Starting at 8pm on the 14th January, the main religious procession from the Santo Amaro chapel makes its way to the beautiful 16th century parish church, the Igreja Matriz. The feast day festivities on the 15th take place in the town centre with a wealth of stalls selling delicious local delicacies at the market and live musicians providing the entertainment. The nearest airport to the festivities is Madeira Airport which is situated approximately 8 miles from the island’s capital.
The Christmas season is the perfect time to take a holiday on the enchanting islands of Madeira. Much of the festivities take place around the local market in Funchal where you can sample local tipples such as the famous Madeira wine. Make sure you try out poncha, a traditional warming alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane, honey and lemon. On the 23rd, the annual Christmas carol show takes place where you can be entertained by renditions of festive songs by local bands, an event which continues until the sun rises. With the Funchal Road Race on the 28th and one of Europe’s biggest fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve, you’re sure to have a great Christmas period in Madeira.
Get the most of your visit to these beautiful Atlantic islands by staying in the perfect rental accommodation for you. Book with Eventful Stays and you can choose to stay in rural cottages, apartments, bed and breakfasts, studios or on all types of boats…all close to Santa Cruz via public transport. Check out our accommodation in Santa Cruz.
While you’re in Madeira, make sure you find time to see some of the amazing sights on this beautiful island, such as Ponta de Sao Lourenco and Pico do Arieiro. Take a hike up to Cabo Girao for one of the islands’ best views.
To find out more information about this intriguing festival, please contact the municipal region’s official website where you’ll be able to check out the official programme of events, find out more about the history of the Santo Amaro Festival and find out how to take part in the Santo Amaro procession.
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