Fundoo Times
Christmas in Portugal is a holiday season for family re-unions. Read this article to know more about the celebration of Christmas in Portugal.

Christmas in Portugal

Christmas in Portugal is a holiday season for family re-unions. The festival is a private affair. The important customs for celebration of Christmas in Portugal include set up of the Nativity Scene in every Portuguese homes and exchange of Christmas gifts. Portuguese decorate their Christmas tree beautifully, and enjoy mouth-watering Christmas recipes during the festive season. People in the country usually don't use Christmas lights to decorate their homes during the season. But nowadays, the streets of Lisbon are decorated with attractive Christmas lights. Read on to know more about Christmas in Portugal.

Christmas celebrations in Portugal are incomplete without Christmas gifts. During the festive season, Christmas gifts are exchanged as a token of love and affection for the beloved ones. According to the Portuguese traditions, children eagerly wait for the arrival of the Three Wise Men during Christmas. Small children place their shoes on windows and doors filled with carrots and straw on the Eve of 5th January. They believe that these shoes will lure the horses of the Three Wise Men and the next morning; these shoes will be filled with attractive Christmas gifts.

In Portugal, the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is called as 'Missa do Galo'. The Portuguese families gather around the Christmas tree and manger and then go to attend the Midnight Mass. After coming back home, the families have a sumptuous Christmas Eve dinner called 'Ceia de Natal.' The dinner consists of codfish served with boiled potatoes and cabbage. The Christmas desserts include filhoses, made of fried pumpkin dough, rabanadas or French toasht and azevias round cakes. 'Bolo Rei' or King's cake is another traditional Christmas dessert.

'Consoda' is the Christmas feast, which takes place in the morning on Christmas day. Delicacies including roast chicken, lamb, or turkey are served in the family get-together. In Portugal, it is a custom to set extra places at the table for the dead souls. It is believed that giving food for the ancestors will bless them with a bright future and the household with good fortune for the coming year. As the Portuguese families enjoy the delicious Christmas feast, a piece of oak, called the Christmas log or Cepo de Natal burns all through the day on the fireplace of their homes.