Back
BRA_Praia Grande_Christmas Trees_S Brazil_CJ_Free

If you’re spending Christmas in Brazil, why not celebrate it like a local. Marketing Assistant, Barbara, shares her top 5 ways to enjoy a traditional Brazilian Christmas:

1. Beach on Christmas Day

Nothing is more Brazilian than catching some rays at the beach on Christmas morning. Being the summer season, most families gather along a small picnic, a large consumption of beer or caipirinha, newly received toys and head out to soak up some sun to enjoy the tropical beaches. Some beaches such as Copacabana Beach have Christmas themed sand castles and decorations to entertain all.

2. Midnight Mass

Given that the majority of the population are Christian, families gather to either attend or watch the ‘Missa do Galo’ streamed live from the Vatican. Many, families with small children in particular, prefer to watch the mass conducted by the Pope.

3. Midnight Christmas Dinner

LATAM_Christmas Turkey_iStock_000021273380

The biggest differentiation from western countries is that Christmas dinner is enjoyed at midnight or on return from mass, which is where it gathers its name ‘Missa do Galo’. A feast is prepared with roast meat (beef, pork etc), turkey, farofa (toasted manioc flour mixed with chicken or turkey giblets, salpicao (chicken and vegetable mayonnaise salad with crispy potato on top), rice with vegetables and salad. The left over from the midnight dinner is then served again on Christmas day – unsurprisingly it tastes even better second time around! Many restaurants are now offering the traditional midnight dinner or lunch serving the traditional dishes.

4. Rabanadas

Rabanada

A must for Christmas Day is to enjoy some rabanadas. Similar to a French toast, the rabanada is fried bread covered in cinnamon or syrup of honey, port and cinnamon. As early on as November, rabanadas can be found in some cafés, so if spotted make sure to have try it.

5. Nativity Scene

In every household, in various sizes or forms a nativity scene known as ‘Presépio’ is found. With a variety to buy, from tiny crystal ornaments or hand carved wooden pieces, a ‘Presépio’ is the perfect gift to bring for a friend or family member. We received ours from my grandmother many years ago and it continues to be a treasured gift.

Tailor-made holidays

Flexible, custom-made holidays to Latin America created to match your exact requirements: our tailor-made itineraries are as unique as the clients for whom they are designed.

Design my trip

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Lina
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

0 1 2 3 4 5