Christmas without snow???
Yes, that is how Christmas is celebrated in Brazil. We have very high temperatures at this time of the year, specially in Rio de Janeiro (my home city). Summer begins in December, thus we do not have a white Christmas. So, you can guess that Christmas traditions are a little different in my country.
Children do not hung stockings on the chimneys like many other children around the world do. Some children hung their stockings near the Christmas tree,near the window, or near the door because most of the houses in Brazil do not have a chimney.
In Brazil, our tradition is to gather the family together on Christmas Eve. Many families go to the church in the evening. Some people have dinner between 7 and 9 pm and our tradition is to have a
supper next to midnight and start opening the gifts at midnight. We eat lots of fruits and nuts and dishes prepared mainly with turkey, codfish, potatoes, rice and vegetables. Something that is originally from Portugal, but that is very traditional in a Brazilian Christmas is the "rabanadas" (French toast), made with French bread, eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Ah, we also eat an Italian bread named "panettone" on Christmas morning!
|Rabanadas - French Toasts|
|Bacalhau - Codfish|
|Peru assado - Roasted turkey|
When I was a child, my mother used to buy a gift for everyone in the family. As the years passed, new traditions began to appear. Most Brazilian families have something that we call Secret Friend (a kind of Secret Santa), which is a funny way of giving presents without spending a lot of money.
But what is exactly this "secret friend" tradition? About two weeks before Christmas Eve, or even earlier, those who are going to take part in the "secret friend", gather and someone write their names in tiny pieces of paper and put them all inside a bag. Then, each one take a piece of paper, which has a name on it. If someone gets his/her own name, he/she must put it inside the bag again and take another one. No one is allowed to tell the others who his/her "secret friend" is.
We buy a gift to this person and on Christmas Eve, usually after supper, we begin to distribute the gifts. Someone is chosen to start it and by describing how his/her "secret friend" looks like. All others will try to guess who this person is and once they find it out, the person who received the gift will then describe his/her "secret friend". We do like this until every person has received a gift. We have a lot of fun with the "secret friend". Everyone enjoys it a lot!
Most classmates at school, at college or collegues who work together usually have a "secret friend" party when it's close to Christmas. It's a way of gathering everyone to celebrate the holiday and to give everyone a present.
Now, watch our Christmas message!
Text from the internet