Come December and everywhere, the atmosphere seems to be basked in festive galore. Parties, celebrations, merriment and fêtes seem to dominate the world scenario and Barzil is no less. With the arrival of December, Brazilians are robed in Christmas festivity. However, much against the norms; Christmas is a summer festival in Brazil, instead of being a winter fair. This is mainly because the country experiences summer season and has high temperatures, during this time of the year. Christmas is one of the important 'dia de festers' or festivals of the Brazilian calendar and is celebrated on the 25th of December. It is believed that even animals rejoice and talk to each other about the birth of Christ, on this day.
Christmas Celebrations in Brazil
Since Brazil is home to a multicultural populace, the celebration of Christmas is extremely colorful and vibrant. In the former years, the country was home to Portuguese colony, which is why we can still see some Portuguese Christmas customs there. One of the prominent Christmas traditions is the practice of 'Presepio'. It is popular in north-eastern Brazil, such as Bahia, Sergipe, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Maranhao, Ceara, Pernambuco, Piaui and Alagoas. According to this custom, people create a nativity scene, wherein a bed of straw is prepared. This idolizes the first bed where Jesus slept in Bethlehem. Every year, presepios are created and displayed in churches, houses and stores.
Santa Claus is known as Papai Noel or Father Noel in Brazil. As per the legend, this gift-bringer lives in Greenland and usually wears silk clothing, due to the summer heat. The spirit of Christmas is seen everywhere in Brazil, right from roads and shops to houses. Each and every place is beautifully adored with fresh, colorful flowers. With the clock striking twelve, fireworks go off the sky, creating a striking panorama of lights. Apart from the impressive fireworks, most big cities of Brazil, such as Brasilia, San Paolo, and Rio de Janeiro, have huge Christmas tree of electric lights, which is a visual treat for people. Folk dancing and singing are the other common activities practiced in the country.
On the eve of Christmas, Brazilians attend the 'Missa do Galo' or Midnight Mass. Thereafter, people enjoy a lavish Christmas dinner or 'Ceia de Natal', which includes turkey, ham, colored rice, and wonderful vegetables and fruit dishes. Some even head to the beach to enjoy a relaxed late evening. On December 25, Brazilians usually wake up late in the afternoon and attend the holy mass. In short, leaving aside the snow and falling temperature, Christmas celebrations in Brazil are more or less the same as the rest of the world. The celebrations continue till the first week of January. On January 6, Brazilians celebrate the 'Three Kings Day'. As per the general faith practiced in the country, it is believed to be the day when three wise men visited Jesus to bring him gifts.