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Christmas is upon us! And although for many people, the first thing that comes to mind is snow and jumpers when talking about Christmas, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate this season differently. Do you want to know what we’re talking about?
Whilst in the Northern hemisphere Christmas is celebrated during the winter, in the Southern hemisphere it’s summertime then. And there’s no place like Brazil to get the best out of the summer: Christmas is one of the country’s most important yearly festivities. The mix of cultures and people from diverse backgrounds means that Christmas here is celebrated in a series of different ways. The mixture of traditional Christmas ornaments, like cribs, (Presepios in Portuguese) and other more modern elements make this country a unique territory to celebrate Christmas.
Despite the very warm temperatures, there is no shortage of Christmas decorations. From the town of Boa Vista in the north of the country, all the way to Porto Alegre in the south, the streets are filled with lights and Christmas trees adorn every street corner. The fireworks are breath-taking. Brazilians see Christmas as a time for celebration, and what better way to celebrate than by filling the skies with lights and colour. To bring in the start of the Christmas season, hundreds of firework displays take place across the country. But there is one firework display which is worth not missing: the one in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, to celebrate the New Year. The skies of one of the most iconic places on earth lights up to bring in the New Year. People of all ages, from all sorts of cultural and religious backgrounds gather on the soft sand to share that moment and to see the display while they dance to the sound of drums.
Otherwise, for more than 20 years, in Rio de Janeiro one can see one of the most impressive Christmas trees in the world. Every year, the Lagoa Christmas Tree is erected: it’s an 85-meter-tall tree which overlooks the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon on the southern side of Rio de Janeiro. This Christmas tree is made up of millions of fairy lights and other illuminations which produce all sorts of different effects, for the greatest pleasure of the visitors. The result is one of the most beautiful Christmas views in Rio.
Dance and music are also very much part of a Brazilian Christmas. In such cities as Gramado, in the south of the country, the Natal Luz (Christmas Light) festival lasts for 60 days during which families gather to see the festival’s mind-blowing scenography and fantasy.
Families gather around the table for Christmas Eve dinner after midnight. On the menu, a traditional roast turkey accompanied by some coloured rice and vegetables. This delicious meal comes with a curious tradition: neighbours come around knocking at the door to offer some of their own dishes and, in this way, share the most special dinner of the year.
In every corner of the country, the little ones anxiously wait for Papai Noel, Father Christmas. As tradition would have it, Papai Noel travels down from Greenland in his silken outfit. He visits each and every district of Brazil to bring the long-awaited presents to children. As is the case in other parts of the world, this is one of the most special nights for those who believe in the magic of Christmas
There are many different ways to celebrate Christmas but all of them have one point in common: good vibes, friendship and the warmth of a loving family. And we just love that at Havaianas.