Christmas in Portugal

By Alex

What is Christmas in Portugal about?

  • Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve rather then on Christmas Day.
  • Some children wait for the Three Wise Men instead of Santa.
  • Is about the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Have a feast called "Consoada".
  • "Christmas Log" (a bark that burns all through Consoada).
  • A Jesus Christ nativity called the Creche is very important.

How do people in Portugal celebrate Christmas?

  • The kids write letters to Santa or Baby Jesus asking for presents.
  • They have a fruitcake (Bolo rei) with two different surprises, the first one is a bean, if you find it you have to buy the Bolo rei for next year, the second one is a token, if you find it you get to keep it but this has been discontinued since the mid-90s, most likely because some people probably choked on it.
  • On Christmas Eve Pai Natal (Santa) puts presents under the Christmas tree and in shoes by the fireplace.
  • Some kids think Santa is the one that brings the presents, others think its Baby Jesus, others think its the Three Wise Men.
  • The kids receive presents on Christmas Eve.

What foods and symbols are associated with Christmas in Portugal?

  • Consoada is a feast that has codfish, green vegetables, boiled potatoes, shellfish, wild meats, or other expensive foods.
  • They have fried cookies.
  • They have Bolo Rei and Bolo Rainha which is the same as bolo rei but without the candied fruit.
  • They have rice pudding
  • They have nuts