Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 16 Christmas in my home country

EDIT:  I don't know how it happened but there was a big of a mix up with today and tomorrow's prompt.  LOL  I am so sorry, I don't know how that happened, or it may have been that I messed up and got the days mixed up.  Either way, don't worry about it, just post whatever you intended to post today whether it's the tree reveal or the traditions from your home country :)



Good morning everyone :)  I do hope you've all been enjoying Blogmas, I have been loving it and it's helped me get through December and the craziness without having to worry about what I should post on the blog or try to come up with an interesting post.

I feel like I have gotten to know you all so much more and I'm looking forward to continuing to follow your blogs after Blogmas is over.  I hope you'll continue to enjoy mine too :)

Right, so today's prompt is about Christmas in our home countries.  For some of us we are still living in the country we were born, but for many others, we have moved overseas.

I want to hear all about Christmas in your home country OR in your heritage.  Wherever you're from, or your family is from, I would love to know :)

So I'm Portuguese and some of my fondest memories of Christmas are from Portugal, so I figured that is what I would share with you today. 


Welcome to Christmas in Lisbon, Portugal.


Pai Natal (Father Christmas) brings the presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.  The presents are usually left under the tree, or in shoes by the fireplace.

The main meal is on Christmas Eve and it's called the Consoada, it usually consists of the Cod Fish boiled, with potatoes and some sort of greens.  After dinner, a lot of people will then go to church for the Missa do Galo (Mass of the Rooster).  Usually during the mass, a statue of baby Jesus is brought out and people will line up to kiss it.  Then it is placed in the Presepio (Nativity Scene).   It's quite a lovely service.


The traditional Christmas decoration in Portugal is the Nativity Scene, a lot of stores will put up elaborate and stunning Nativity scenes on their windows.  We used to enjoy going to town just to go look at all of them.

Remember how I said we always have a table with tons of goodies on there?  That is what most Portuguese houses will have.  Traditional food, cakes, appetizers, nuts and all sorts of things.

One thing we always had and I can never find here in the States are the Christmas crackers.  You know what those are right?   They would contain some candy and a Christmas hat that we would all put on our heads.  In the one photo I shared of us as little kids at Christmas, you can see those hats on our heads.    I know I can buy them online but I don't really ever see them in the stores.



The traditional cake for Christmas is the Bolo Rei (King's Cake).  It will usually sit right in the middle of the table and inside there is a broad bean (fava) and a little gift.  Usually these tiny little trinkets hidden in the cake.  If you find the trinket you can keep it, but if you find the bean then you have to buy the cake the following year.


Christmas in Portugal is a big family gathering, a time to sit together and eat good food, catch up and bond.  I love the fact that I'm Portuguese and that I can pass these traditions onto my children and hopefully one day when they have children of their own, they will be able to share these with them too. 

11 comments:

Tamy Bollar said...

I love hearing about Christmas in Portugal. It's the little customs that make it so special. Many of the things you described for Christmas we did when I was a kid also, but they were more spread out through the entire holiday. like the cake was for Epiphany on the 6th. I really miss nativities here - when I was a kid they were more prominent with many churches doing living nativities and centering their programs around it.

JC said...

I've found Christmas crackers at Cost Plus World Market (if you have one near you in ID) and at our Smith's (Kroger) grocery store! Smith's has them out closer to New Year's Eve but I bet you could find them before Christmas. Good luck!

Carrie B. said...

I LOVE reading all about the different traditions from other countries and cultures! It's just fascinating to me. Thanks for sharing and I loved your photos!

I think there was mix up as on your original blogmas list today said Christmas tree reveal. So I had my post all done and went to find your icon for it and on your icon list from Blogmas Day 1 post you had the countries post listed next. So I just stuck with the original list and did my tree reveal as I don't have a home country to share. Hope that's ok!

Thanks Hon! xo

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joyful said...

It's so neat learning about other cultures and how they observe Christmas! Love all the pictures you included!

Dawn said...

I deleted my last comment because I had it mixed up. LOL. The original list said the Christmas tree reveal was next but when I copied the title pictures it had the home country as Day 16 and the tree reveal at Day 17. No big deal. I see everyone else is doing the Christmas tree reveal so I guess I'll do that too. :-)

Amy at love made my home said...

So great to read about your traditions from Portugal. We of course have crackers here in England, I believe that they originated here. They are a lot of fun and one of the things that I really missed when I lived in America too! I hope that you can perhaps find some one day! xx

Katie Stewart said...

Wow Christmas in Portugal looks beautiful!

iwillbloom said...

Loved reading your post! Lisbon must be so beautiful at Christmas time! Hope you do carry on the traditions you're able to (the cake etc....). We also have crackers in England and I can't get them here, and they can't be sent by post, so I make my own for the children (minus the 'banger' bit)....I was thinking of doing a mini tutorial next week......(they're very easy but I'd kind of like to see if I can do a 'tutorial' type post)......LOVED your post today!

Sarah H said...

Beautiful pictures. I loved hearing about your Portugese Christmas.

We have Christmas crackers every year here. Did yours have cheesy jokes in too?

Hugs.

Jhona Oberholtzer said...

We have started using Christmas Crackers in the last few years. Lovely traditions and photos.