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. 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.
do not hung stockings on the chimneys like many other children
around the world do. Some children hung their stockings near
the tree, near the window or near the door because most of the
houses in Brazil do not have a chimney.
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 orinally from Portugal, but that is very traditional in a
Brazilian Christmas is the "rabanadas", made with French
bread, milk, sugar and cinnamon.
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", which is a 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
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 people from the same classroom at school, at college or
collegues who work together in the same office usually make 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.