Christmas Decorations in Brazil
Decorating for Christmas in Brazil usually includes fresh flowers picked from the garden, and Christmas trees decorated in the homes. Fireworks go off in the skies over the cites on Christmas Eve and huge Christmas “trees” of electric lights can be seen against the night skies in larger cities like Brasilia, San Paolo, and Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian Christmas Food
Brazilians have their Christmas feast usually on Christmas Eve, anytime between 9 pm and midnight. The meal will probably include chicken, rice, beans аnd Coca-Cola. Brigadeiro іѕ а Brazilian dessert cooked fоr Christmas, similar to American chocolate fudge.
The people of Northern Brazil, enjoy a version of the folk play Los Pastores or “The Shepherds” in which the children act out the story of Jesus’ birth in a live Nativity. In an interesting twist to the story, the Brazilian version includes shepherdesses rather than shepherds as well as a gypsy who attempts to kidnap the Christ Child.
Papai Noel (Father Noel) is the gift-bringer in Brazil. He was not traditionally a part of Christmas until the 1950’s or later, when commercialization made him popular. According to the legend, Papai Noel lives in Greenland and when he arrives in Brazil, he usually wears silk clothing because of the summer heat. (December is mid-summer in Brazil, just like in Australia.)
Amigo Secreto (secret friend) is a very common Christmas tradition among friends and families. At the beginning of December, participants will exchange names (but will not reveal the name of the person they get). During the month they give gifts or letters to their secret friend using apelidos (fake names). Then, on Christmas, there will be a big reveal to find out who was their secret friend and offer them one last special gift.
Have you ever been part of Christmas festivities in Brazil, or with a Brazilian family? What activities or traditions did you most enjoy?
Feliz Natal! (Merry Christmas in Portuguese)
- A recipe for Brigadeiro
- One of Brazil’s chief exports: Brazilian Coffee
- Color the flag and map of Brazil
- How to play Amigo Secreto
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