Dec 20, 2023

The Festive Season is Here

In Portugal, Christmas is a time for family gatherings, wonderful feasts, and cherished traditions. The holiday season officially kicks off on December 8th with the celebration of the Immaculate Conception Day, marked by festive decorations and the lighting of Christmas trees across the country.


One of the most famous and beloved Christmas traditions in Portugal is the creation of intricate Nativity scenes, known locally as "Presépios" or "Beléns." These scenes, often set up in homes, churches, and public spaces, depict the birth of Jesus surrounded by detailed miniature landscapes, including shepherds, farmers, and traditional Portuguese elements.


Christmas Eve is a time for a sumptuous family dinner, often featuring Bacalhau à Consoada, a traditional salted codfish dish served with potatoes, cabbage, and chickpeas. The meal is followed by the exchange of gifts and the attendance of Midnight Mass, where families and communities come together to celebrate this special occasion.


New Year’s Eve is another opportunity for celebrations and traditions.  As the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, Portugal erupts in a dazzling display of fireworks, music, and jubilant celebrations. Many locals and visitors gather in iconic locations such as Lisbon's Praça do Comércio or Porto's Ribeira to ring in the New Year with a sense of unity and joy.    The island of Madeira is especially famous for its New Year’s Eve celebrations and spectacular fireworks displays. 


A charming tradition in Portugal involves eating twelve grapes or raisins at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, each grape symbolizing good luck for the twelve months ahead. It's a fun and light-hearted way to welcome the new year while surrounded by friends and family.


If you are brave enough, you can take part in a Polar Plunge, by swimming in the chilly Atlantic Ocean on New Year's Day. Additionally, various cities host concerts and events, providing a festive atmosphere to continue the celebrations well into January 1st.


As we enter this magical time of year, let's take inspiration from Portugal's rich traditions of family, joy, and togetherness.


From all of us at EQTY Capital, Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo!