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Christmas in Brazil

December 22 2014

ITS CHRISTMAS! So we thought we’d give you a few facts on Christmas in Brazil and share the Brazilian traditions – how does it compare with yours?

Brazilians belong to different ethnicities that started out as a Portuguese colony. Thus, many Christmas customs in Brazil owe themselves to their heritage. A Nativity scene or Presépio (Hebrew word meaning bed of straw on which Jesus slept in Bethlehem) is prepared in north-eastern Brazil. The Santa Claus figure that brings gifts for children is known as Papai Noel or Father Noel who lives in Greenland and wears silk clothing in Brazil due to hot summer conditions. Traditional Christmas dinner called Ceia de Natal consists of turkey, ham, coloured rice, vegetables and fruit dishes.

Catholics attend Midnight Mass or Missa do Galo that ends at 1 AM on Christmas morning. On December 25th, masses are held at churches for Catholics in the late afternoons so that people can sleep till late or go to beach. Home decorations mostly consist of fresh flowers from the garden. In big cities such as Brasilia, San Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, there are fireworks in the night time. Folk dancing and singing is quite common. Festivities go on till 6th of January or the Three Kings Day, when the three wise men finally visited Jesus with their gifts.

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