The colourful and flambuoyant Brazil is home to people of different cultures and traditions; it is like a melting pot of cultures. Its diversity is reflected in the festivals that add vigor and color to the face of the celebrations. Majority of the people of Brazil are Christians which only makes Christmas a very important festival there. As a former Portuguese colony, Brazil has retained some of the customs of its rich heritage. The old Brazilian legend is based on the belief that animals knew about the birth of Christ and could talk among themselves. Prior to Christmas day and the celebrations, families gather together and start preparing for the occasion. Most of the dishes prepared in Brazil are influenced by the culinary traditions of Europe, although some dishes have an essence of Africa as well as South America incorporated in them. Read on to know more about Brazilian Christmas.
Christmas Celebrations In Brazil
Read about Christmas and its traditions in Brazil and Brazilian Christmas customs.
Christmas In Brazil
- During Christmas, people have lots of fruits and nuts and the dishes mainly comprise of turkey, rice and vegetables. Codfish and Christmas turkey with white rice acts as the main course. People usually enjoy beer and natural juices while spending time with their families.
- For a sweet treat, people in Brazil eat rabanadas which is a French toast in cinnamon and sugar. Also chocolate cakes, panettones (sweet bread) and fruits salads are consumed with sheer delight.
- While serving food, the table is remarkably decorated with fruits to make it look colorful. Pineapples, watermelons and bananas are used liberally.
- Since it’s hard to find pine trees in Brazil, Brazilians set up Christmas trees with the assistance of electric lighting. Brazil still lays claim to the world record of having the biggest Christmas tree in the world.
- All members of the family gather around the tree and play games, sing songs and have a great time together. When the clock strikes twelve, all the lights except for the one on the Christmas tree are switched off. With the start of the fireworks, Papa Noel (Father Noel) who brings gifts in Brazil appears before the children with a handful of gifts and enquires whether they have behaved themselves throughout the year.
- The feast is initially laid out to the children so that they can go to sleep and wait for Papa Noel to fill their shoes with gifts and chocolates. In some places, families give gifts to other families and it gets late before everyone returns back from the celebrations.
- On the eve of Christmas, depending on individual religious interests, people attend the midnight mass, also called “Missa Do Galo”.
- Though this time of the year is very hot for the country, the people of Brazil do not miss out on the fun part of playing with snow. They use little white cotton wool to decorate pine trees to make up for the lack of real snow. People return home to sumptuous feasts and some even go to the beach to spend time with family and friends.
- The next day being December 25th, or Christmas Day, Brazilians usually wake up late and attend mass.
- Folk dance and songs are quite common in Brazil. The celebrations can go on till January 6th which is regarded as the “Three Kings Day”. It is named so because it is believed that, on this day, the three wise men visited Jesus to bring him gifts.
Such is the spirit of Brazil that everything about it reeks of colour and fun. Even Christmas in Brazil is as colourful as any carnival can be. However, this doresnt undermine the religious sentiments of the Brazilians; for they know how to party and they know how to pray!