Christmas in Portugal

Here in the Hotel Garbe we have our four day Christmas programme which includes many traditions from Christmas in the UK.

Portuguese Christmas celebrations are a little different.

The main meal is on Christmas Eve(called "Consoada"). The meal consists of codfish with boiled potatoes and cabbage. After the meal, people eat traditional fried desserts: "filhoses or filhós" are made of fried pumpkin dough; "rabanadas" are similar to french toast; "azevias" are round cakes made of a crust filled with a mixture of chick peas, sugar, and orange peel; "aletria" is a vermicelli sweet with eggs (typical of Douro and Minho region).

Another traditional dessert is "Bolo Rei". This is a fruitcake that is typically a New Years cake, but is becoming popular during Christmas Holidays. In the cake there are two surprises: one is a little present like a fake ring, or a little doll, or a medal. The other is not as welcomed. There is a raw broad bean. Whoever gets this bean has to buy the "Bolo Rei" in the coming year. In addition to these desserts there are many other that differ from region to region.

On Christmas Day, people eat stuffed turkey for lunch and the traditional desserts.

During the holiday season towns are decorated with lights.

The festivities end on January 6, "Dia de Reis".

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