Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How is your Portugese?

Here we go to visit Brazil - one of only three countries in the world that speak Portugese. And now we are officially below the equator. So let's test your geography - what season is it in Brazil in December? Winter? Nope! It's actually summer! Imagine Christmas with temperatures in the 70's or warmer.

Since it is so warm in Brazil for Christmas, Papai Noel (Santa) has to make a little change. Instead of a fur or wooly coat and suit he gets to don a silk suit and might even get rid of his hat if a silk one isn't available.

A tradition that I found in my research is the amigo secreto (secret friend). At the beginning of December friends and family pull names and send correspondence and encouragement to that person under a pseudonym through out the holiday season. On Christmas the gather to exchange gifts and reveal their identity to their amigo.

Brazil has been home of many different cultures so many of the traditions are shared with the rest of the world. The large Roman Catholic population is known to attend a midnight mass known as Missa de Galo (The Rooster's Mass) which doesn't end until 1 AM! And it is still followed by a large meal - not something that is common any other time of the year. Traditional dishes are taken from all over the world with turkey, ham, rice and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Even some German and Italian dishes have been known to make it to the festive table.

And yet another surprise for me on my trip around the world this holiday season. If you had told me I could have Italian on Christmas in Brazil I would have called you a liar! A million thank you's to those of you who have been my travelling companions. Here's to many more surprises and lessons along the way to the holiday!



Jenni Jiggety said...

I was ata church this past weekend that has such a large Brazilian that they have special masses. I thought it was cool!

Staci said...

I love the idea of a secret friend! I think I need to start something like that in our family.

sandy said...

I have an award waiting for you on my blog!