Portuguese christmas


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Portuguese christmas

  1. 1. Saint Claus ('Pai Natal') is believed to bring presents to children on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day. The presents are left under the Christmas Tree or in shoes next to the fireplace. However, some people say that the presents are brought by the Baby Jesus rather than Father Christmas. After the meal, people go to church for the 'Missa do Galo' or “The Rooster’s religious service” . During the service an image of Baby Jesus is brought out, and everyone queues up to kiss him. It is then put into the nativity scene (the Presépio) that every church must have. After the religious service people return home, and open their presents . Before leaving for the religious service, parents secretly put Baby Jesus into the nativity scene in their houses as well as the gifts un- der the Christmas Tree, so that Jesus will 'miraculously' be in his manger by the time the family returns home! Children run to check the nativity scene as soon as they enter the house as no baby Je- sus means no presents! Christmas Trees are common now, but not everyone have a tree up until 70’s. However, the Nativity Scene (or “Presépio”) is the traditional Christmas decoration in Portugal, and most families will have a small one with just the Holy Family and the animals. Of- ten the scenes have dozens of characters including the Holy Family, animals, the wise men, shepherds, farmers, folk characters, etc. Children like to compose the nativity scene, fetching moss to make the grass and arranging the figures. Some shops and clubs still make huge nativity scenes with over one hundred figures, waterfalls, windmills that rotate, and lights! People like to go and see the big scenes. The “Madeiro “ (Stack of wood) In the center of Portugal, a special Christmas tradition called the 'Christmas Madeiro' takes place on Christmas Eve. The 'boys chosen of the year' (those who are going to do their military medical test for the military conscription need to steal wood to make the tallest fire in the church yard. This fire will be lit just before the Midnight Mass or during it "to warm Baby Jesus feet"! It also gives people a warm place to meet friends and chat when they come out of Midnight Mass. The “Madeiro” is sometimes so big that it will keep on burning til Christmas Day! The wood for this Madeiro would rather be stollen - it should not be bought! If the boys were caught by the owners of the trees, then they have to pay for it. However, nowadays the wood is nor- mally paid for after Christmas or it is discretely donated by the boy's parent; or relatives who tell them where there are some rotten trees , so they can get them from there! What do you need to know about Portuguese traditional Christmas Six4peace Portuguese Christmas
  2. 2. The traditional Christmas meal in Portugal is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve and consists of codfish with green vegeta- bles and boiled potatoes. This is normally followed by shellfish, wild meats or other expensive foods. Every house have a fullfilles table set in the living room full with traditional food, cakes, fried cookies, nuts and other goodies! Turkey is often the main dish now. Traditionally it was goat or lamb in Northern Portugal and pork in the south of the country. Each region traditionally has its own selection of deserts. In Northern province of Minho, rich people would have rich desserts made with lots of eggs such as 'Lampreia de ovos'. Ordinary people would be more likely to have something like rice pudding. French Toast (called 'Rabanadas') is popular throughout the country as are fried dough desserts sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon like 'filhós'. People drink Porto wine, tradi- tional liquors and eat 'azevias' and 'filhozes' (Portuguese biscuits and sweets). The party lasts until the early hours of the morning! some wine or brandy. If you do not open your door, or your food doesn't correspond to their taste and expectation (especially if you're rich), the singers will sing songs mocking you (like saying you've got a big nose)! Normally after enjoying the food, the January singers will sing a song to thank the generosity of the hosts, saying how nice you are and saying any praising the beautiful girls if there are curry After Christmas (and never before!) during first weeks January’s groups of people will go from house to house with an image of Baby Jesus in his manger singing the 'Janeiras' songs (January songs). They are often accompanied with small instru- ments. They usually start with an opening song asking the owner of the house for food and drink! The owner of the house should invite them in to warm up and to help themselves of a spread of snacks sweet like dry figs with walnuts in- side or cheese and chorizo and Página 2 'Janeiras' songs . Portuguese Christmas Traditional Christmas meal Filhós On Christmas Day the living room table remains un- touched and people still en- joy their goodies together! Families come together and have Christmas Day lunch together. The traditional Christmas cake is 'Bolo Rei' (which means 'King Cake') and is placed in the center of the table. . Traditionally a fava bean and a little present on gift are hidden in the cake. If you get the present you are allowed to keep it. But if you find the fava bean, you have to pay for the next care . Bacalhau (codfish) Bolo Rei Singing the “janeiras”
  3. 3. Six4peace Christmas vocabulary Traditional Christmas song Página 3 Vela (Candle) Pinheiro de natal Anjo (angel)Sino Prenda (Presente ) azevinho Pai Natal presépio Menino Jesus (Baby Jesus) Estrela (star)
  4. 4. Christmas School Party Merry Christmas Wesołych Świąt Godt Nyttår Yeni yılın kutlu olsun Feliz Ano Novo Весела Коледа Feliz Natal Srečno novo leto Честита нова година Mutlu Noeller Šťastný Nový Rok Veselé Vianoce Szczęśliwego nowego roku Feliz Natal e Feliz ano Novo