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World Christmas traditions: Brazil

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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As we all know, Christmas is just a few weeks away, and so we at homify have been looking at the way the holiday is celebrated around the world. Brazil is a very big country, and Christmas customs there vary according to the different regions. Christmas is always the most special time of year, when people set up the tree, buy gifts, attend the traditional Christmas movies and, of course, eat those traditional dishes that only appear at this time of year. For Brazilians, the greatest Christmas tradition is the Christmas turkey! Many traditions there are based on other Christmas traditions around the world, from the Christmas tree to the turkey and the lights, these traditions have been adapted to the Brazilian culture and climate. Today we bring you a small sample of the most important Christmas traditions in this beautiful country.

Creative lights

Yes, this is a tradition that the Brazilians have adopted over time. When the beginning of December approaches, many houses and buildings begin to be covered with Christmas lights. There are no rules, what counts is to let creativity speak up. These bright lights and decorations are found in regions all over the country.


 Household by EuroNatale SRL
EuroNatale SRL

Babbo Natale

EuroNatale SRL

Santa Claus is found everywhere, especially in shops and shopping centres starting in early December. In shopping malls, kids love visiting to place their Christmas orders!

Preparing dinner

Who does not like to be together with family and spend the day cooking Christmas dinner? The traditional Brazilian meal often includes turkey, cod, manioc, the salami, and panettone. These dishes are delights that Brazilians look forward to all year.

Buying gifts

Christmas Window:  Offices & stores by Selfridges

Christmas Window


Christmas is a time of celebration and gratitude, but also for gifts! There are long trips to the mall with the list of names you need to shop for. In Brazil, unlike other countries, many families open their gifts on the 24th, instead of on the morning of the 25th.

The Christmas dinner

 Dining room by gabel

In Brazil, Christmas dinner is eaten the day before the 25th, normally near midnight on the 24th. This day begins the celebration of Christmas. Christmas dinner involves a lot of preparations and rituals to ensure that Christmas Eve will be just perfect. One preparation is, of course, the decor, which requires special attention. Many families like to decorate the table with a very cheerful table cloth and put out many fruits to match the tropical climate. Although the Brazilian Christmas dinner is served late at night, usually near midnight, families with children tend to dine a little earlier. Another important custom happens after Christmas dinner—the exchange of gifts! Traditionally, after the Christmas dinner is the common time to exchange gifts between people and to gather together and have fun.

The Christmas tree

Christmas '14:  Living room by Farrow & Ball
Farrow & Ball

Christmas '14

Farrow & Ball

This is surely the most popular custom of the whole country. In all sizes, shapes and styles, the Christmas tree can be found in almost every home in Brazil. Many Brazilians keep their presents under the tree until the 24th at midnight, when it is common to deliver and exchange gifts. The decor is always varying and, unlike in many countries, artificial trees are the most common kind in Brazil.

Of course, there are countless ways to celebrate Christmas, and, because of Brazil’s many cultural and ethnic influences, Brazilian Christmas can come in many forms! To learn about Christmas traditions in Spain, have a look at this ideabook.

What are your Christmas traditions? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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