Explore

Here’s How Christmas Is Celebrated In Brazil

By Parker Diakite

Share

In Brazil, Christmas is one of the most important and festive holidays. The South American country has a multicultural population and its ethnic diversity influences its festivities. As a formerly occupied country,  Brazilians have retained some of the Christmas customs brought over by Portugal.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Catholic Church is the largest religious institution in the country and an estimated 123 million people consider themselves as self-declared Catholics, according to Catholics and Cultures. The majority of citizens who identify as Catholic will attend a midnight mass service on Christmas Eve that finishes around 1:00 a.m. known as “Misa de Gallo.”

On Christmas Day, people head back out to church for services in the afternoon. Nativity Scenes, or Presepoo, are very popular throughout the country and are often set up in churches and homes. Christmas plays, known as “Os Pastores” and translated in English as The Shepherds, are also popular.  In Brazil, the plays include a shepherdess and a woman who tries to steal baby Jesus. Following Missa do Gallo, people head to firework displays in big towns and surrounding communities.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Many customs Brazil are similar to both the United States and the United Kingdom. In Brazil, Santa Claus is called Papai Noel & Bom Velhinho, which translates to “Good Old Man” in English. Children will leave their socks near a window and when Papai Noel finds it, he’ll exchange it for a present. It’s not uncommon for Brazilians to engage in Secret Santa or “Amigo Secreto.”

When it’s time for families and friends to come together for Christmas dinner, traditional foods include pork, turkey, ham, salads, and dried fruits. Main dishes are served with rice cooked with raisins and “farofa,” seasoned manioc flour. Because Brazil is a melting pot of cultures and people from different countries, you may find various cuisines during your visit. You may have Italian Panettone in São Paulo, Portuguese salted Cod in Rio de Janeiro and some African style food in the states of North-East Brazil.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Share
Travel Noire

Parker Diakite

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Roller Coasters To Renaissance Fairs: Here Are The World’s Best Theme Parks

Roller Coasters To Renaissance Fairs: Here Are The World’s Best Theme Parks

Some travel the world in search of relaxation, others, for adrenaline. If you love a good theme park, here are some of the best in the world with experiences for every type of traveler. Le Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, France With water features, fireworks, battles, and live animals, Le Puy du Fou is the […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

Wash Away The Retrograde At Brazil’s Crystal Beauty Display In Downtown LA

Wash Away The Retrograde At Brazil’s Crystal Beauty Display In Downtown LA

Mercury Retrograde got you down? LA residents can now give themselves a thorough crystal cleansing at Rhythm Visual Gallery’s latest exhibition titled Crystalline: Brazil’s Crystal Giants. The gallery has transported massive gem specimens from the South American country, with multiple pieces weighing in at over 1,000 pounds.  Some of the remarkable crystals on display include […]

Danielle Dorsey

2019 Top Honeymoon Destinations For Black Couples

2019 Top Honeymoon Destinations For Black Couples

Once you’ve planned the wedding, taking into consideration the needs of every cousin, uncle, and opinionated mother-in-law, it’s time to finally just think about you and your partner. With so many places to choose from, it may seem overwhelming, but here are a few options to help you start imagining your honeymoon bliss.    Morocco […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin