The web, reviewed by humans since 1999.

Christmas in Austria
Christmas in Belgium
Christmas in Denmark
Christmas in Finland
Christmas in France
Christmas in Germany
Christmas in Greece
Christmas in Holland
Christmas in Iceland
Christmas in Ireland
Christmas in Italy
Christmas in Norway
Christmas in Poland
Christmas in Portugal
Christmas in Spain
Christmas in Sweden
Christmas Switzerland
Christmas in the UK

MAIN Arrow to Christmas Christmas Arrow to Christmas in Europe Europe Arrow to Christmas in Portugal Christmas in Portugal

Feliz Natal - Merry Christmas in PortugalAs in many other European countries, a Portugal Christmas is a time of gathering with parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins (and any other relatives in town!) for a warm family celebration.

In Portugal, the main holiday celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. Friends and family gather around the Christmas tree and the Nativity scene or Presepio .... followed by "Missa do Galo" or midnight mass services.

For Christmas Eve celebrations, salt cod or bacalhau is the traditional dish, usually served with boiled potatoes and cabbage. Next comes the much-awaited Christmas desserts, which vary from region to region and may include fried felhozes or fritters, rabanadas (often called Portuguese "French toast") and, of course, the traditional Bolo Rei or King Cake, which can be both a Christmas and New Year's Eve tradition.

When the Bolo Rei is served, family members wait to see who gets the surprises baked within , usually a coin or toy ring - and another "unlucky" surprise, a raw bean. Whoever gets the bean must buy or make the Bolo Rei the following year!

Christmas Eve is also usually the time in Portugal when Father Christmas arrives to fill the shoes of good little children with toys and treats. On Christmas Day, meat is often on the holiday menu, (customarily a big stuffed turkey) which is of course followed by more holiday sweets.

The festivities end on January 6, on the Feast of the Epiphany or "Dia de Reis" (King's Day), but not before a festive New Year's Eve celebration featuring spectacular fireworks everywhere. Of course it wouldn't be New Year's in Portugal without the traditional eating of 12 raisins, representing one wish for each month of the coming year.

More information about Christmas in Portugal around the Web:


Portuguese Christmas Eve - Check out this charming first-person account about how it's celebrated with related photos.

LIsbon Lights up For Christmas - Get an eyeful with colorful photos of holiday lights ablaze in the capital city.

Madeira Christmas & New Year's Photo Collection - Go on a colorful virtual tour of holiday lights & decorations around Funchal, along with more on the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display.

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Privacy  |  Mission Statement  |  Contact us |  Sitemap

All contents copyright © 1999 - 2018