Christmas Traditions in Portugal

xmas Ornaments 1 Studio Calisto
A tradition is a specific practice of long standing in which unwritten customs and practices are passed from one generation to the next. Traditions and customs form part of a country’s culture and heritage. The following information provides some fast, interesting facts about customs and Christmas traditions in Portugal:

  • Christmas is a deeply religious holiday in Portugal
  • An elaborate Nativity scene is displayed in many homes
  • Pai Natal delivers gifts but also on the morning of January 6th the Three Kings also bring gifts for the children
  • Shoes are filled with straw or carrots for the camels that must carry their riders to deliver the gifts. In the morning the food is gone and small gifts of candy are left
  • The Christmas Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Feast of the Holy Innocents both involve the sharing of gifts
  • The Portuguese have a Yule or Christmas log (cepo de Natal)
  • The Portuguese celebrate a feast caled the “consoda.”. The consoda is held on Christmas morning where extra spaces and food is laid in honor of the dead as this is believed to bring good luck for the new year.

Christmas Traditions in Portugal – The Food!
What do people eat in other countries at this special time of the year? Festive feasts and recipes are traditional for special occasions including family dinners and meals. Interesting facts about the special food eaten as part of the customs and Christmas traditions in Portugal:

  • A dish of dried cod with boiled potatoes is popular in Portugal on Xmas Eve
  • A typical Christmas dinner in Portugal would start with small portions of lute fish or corn pudding followed by honey roasted ham, roasted turkey served with vegetables including rutabagas and turnips. Other favorites are Portuguese sausages or a variety of shell fish
  • Christmas traditions in Portugal

Portuguese Christmas Vocabulary
How do you say Merry Christmas in Portugal? If you have friends or family who live, or have ties with, a different country it is a nice gesture to add a seasons greetings in the language of the country. A practical addition to learning about Christmas traditions in Portugal:

  • How do you say Merry Christmas in Portuguese? “Boas Festas!”
  • What is the name for Santa Claus? Pai Natal
  • Christmas Eve is known in Portuguese as Véspera de Natal images balls  S
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