Christmas in Portugal | How Obidos celebrate the coming of ‘Pai Natal’
With Christmas coming in Portugal, we’d heard that Obidos in Central Portugal (some 85km north of Lisbon) had a fantastic series of Christmas acitvities for children throughout the month of December.. so we heading out at dusk to this walled city to let our daughters experience some of the spectacular Portuguese Christmas traditions
Every region should have Something special
It’s amazing to think that this whole city was once the wedding present of a Queen, yet the views are staggering from any of the ramparts or city walls (not one for the faint hearted as there is no wall on the inner side to support you, just a 35ft drop onto hard terractta roofs!). Vineyards, windmills and mountains lie in abundance below… It’s apparently very pretty when the Spring flowers (geraniums, morning glories and bougainvillaea) appear yet we thought the Christmas feel more than made up for this!
Both girls were excited to get involved in the activities (face painting, making baubles, story telling) as it really interests them how each country differs at Christmas time… for instance Portuguese make much more of Christmas Eve with presents from Baby Jesus not just from Father Christmas and they all eat together to celebrate on Christmas Eve (Consoada).
It’s not all differences however as the Nativity Scene (or Presépio) is still used as the traditional christmas decoration in Portugal…. Christmas meals alter significantly across the regions but they still love the ‘Bolo Rei’ (something both girls wanted to try… pictures to follow tomorrow!)… with people greeting each other with greeting like ‘Feliz Natal’ or ‘Boas Festa (‘Merry Christmas’ in Portuguese)
Christmas is coming, and both girls are so excited… maybe we’ll get lucky and find another Christmas Market like Angers to see if we can find some goodies to take home!!!