The Funchal City Council is trying to “keep the most historical and traditional component” of Madeiran Christmas, making the Market Night “return to its origins” due to the conditioning of the pandemic, according to the Mayor.
“This year the Funchal City Council has already sent a proposal for the Market Night to the Institute of Health Administration (IASaúde) and we are waiting for the answer”, said Miguel Silva Gouveia to the Lusa agency, referring that the municipality “is available to accept any and all solutions that allow to maintain that tradition “, fulfilling” everything that is scrupulously indicated “by the body.
The official indicated that if the party is concentrated within the market it is possible to keep the distance, not least because the municipality has the number of the effective capacity of the space and can count how many people are inside.
“If it is open, there is no longer such a tight control, so we are available to find solutions, even within the market, where we can also maintain the commercial part so that traders and farmers can sell their products and the Madeirans themselves. can also maintain the tradition of going shopping ”, he argued.
In addition, that “if IASaúde allows stalls outside to be maintained” (only for the sale of vegetables and traditional products, not including food and drink stalls), but if the answer is negative, the City Council “will look for solutions within from the market”.
According to the tradition of “Festa”, the name by which Christmas in Madeira is known, the Market Night takes place on December 23rd. It was created to make the last purchases of vegetables and fruits of the season, as well as elements to decorate the houses.
To the mix, some drinks were consumed in the bars in the streets of the surroundings and some songs were sung.
Over the years, people began to “give more strength” to this tradition and, more than two decades ago, it started to be one of the most popular gatherings of the Christmas season, with thousands of locals and visitors gathering in that area. of the city for a night of conviviality and fun.
The Christmas carols sung at Praça do Peixe, the nearly 100 food and drink stalls, wine and garlic meat sandwiches, and lots of drink are hallmarks of this highly attended event.
In 2019, the Funchal municipality collected 32 tons of garbage after Market Night.
Due to the large number of people, every year the streets surrounding that space are usually closed to traffic, the car parks are open all night and there is a reinforcement of means of security and assistance.
The covid-19 pandemic has changed the scenario, said the Mayor of Funchal, stressing that “the objective is to comply with all recommendations that IASaúde can send so that it can be maintained, as far as possible and as long as it is safe, this tradition quite lived by Madeirans and Funchalers ”.
The mayor highlighted the “tradition of singing within the market and the sale of horticultural products, fruits, potatoes of the season, the greens that people like to go to the market to buy”.
On Christmas carols at Praça do Peixe, he stressed that it was a possible initiative, “with limited people in the countryside”.
“We are looking to maintain traditions, fulfilling whatever they tell us to do. We are waiting for indications from IASaúde ”, he concluded.