What to expect from Christmas dinner in Brazil?

Just in a few days, we will be celebrating Christmas. Even though it is hard to imagine this day on a sunny beach in Rio, the upcoming Christmas arouses a lot of emotions in Brazil as well. It is an extremely large country, both in terms of area and population. For this reason, Christmas traditions vary greatly from region to region. Brazilians also wait for this time of the year and prepare for it similarly as people in Europe – buying gifts, Christmas trees, preparing Christmas dinner, meeting family and friends and watching Christmas movie hits. 

Most of the Christmas customs derive from the Christian tradition and they have been adapted to local traditions and the climate prevailing in Brazil. 

Learn a little bit more about Christmas in this beautiful country.

Christmas decorations and presents

 

If you visit Brazil, you will notice Christmas trees and even palm trees illuminating with lights. Brazilians prepare their decorations in November or even in October. There are no rules when it comes to colour or the number of lights – people like to show their imagination. 

Santa Claus is certainly the most recognizable symbol of the holidays in this tropical region. All children love an old man with a beard and are happy to come to shopping malls to sit on his lap and get a small gift or candies.

Christmas time is, of course, a time when people spend time with their families and friends but the Christmas shopping madness is certainly a thing here as well. Trips to shopping malls with long lists of Christmas presents became a tradition as well.

Christmas dinner 

As we mentioned before, spending Christmas with family is very important in Brazil – it also involves Christmas dinner preparation. It usually takes place in the house of the oldest member of the family or the person that has the biggest house. 

 

Christmas dinner usually consists of the following dishes:

    • turkey,
    • Chester (chicken that has especially large chest and more meat than a normal chicken),
    • pernil (fresh ham),
    • salpicão (a mix of vegetables with mayonnaise),
    • farofa (toasted cassava or cornflour mixture),
    • rice with raisins,
    • fish,

 

  • Rabanada for dessert (kind of a french toast – sliced bread soaked in eggs with milk and fried).

 

 

Christmas dinner takes place on December 24, just after midnight. Kids get their presents before dinner as they will probably be too tired to stay up late. The party ends late at night.

December 25 is usually a churrasco (barbecue) time when everybody eats the food that was left from the day before. Normally, we usually do too much food for Christmas dinner, so we finish it the next day with our family and friends.

Brazil is a country extremely mixed in terms of nationality and ethnicity, which is why its Christmas traditions are a kind of hybrid of customs from different parts of the world. We hope that we more or less showed you how this special time looks here. 

Merry Christmas everybody.

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