ATP – 16 Dec 17- Feliz Ano Novo

It’s Christmas Eve – Véspera de Natal and Portuguese traditions are kicking in. The Portuguese children here get their presents on Christmas Eve, there is a big dinner, then at midnight there is a Christmas Mass.

In our English house, the folks all had a big dinner, the kids are looking forward to dawn, for socks from Santa Claus, then presents, then another big dinner.


Novo (or nova) means new. Cobble it together – Feliz Novo Ano.


On 24 December of any year, the Portuguese dish of choice is fish or seafood. This harks back to a Catholic tradition. We are talking salted cod (bacalhau) or squid (polvo). If this is not to your taste try an English favourite – fish and chips.


There are several words in Portuguese for the nativity. We are not religious so we do not celebrate any particular faith. I tried to put up Christmas lights today, but because we are still on basics, the best I could do was to decorate our ironing table.

The emphasis has gone on the outside. We now have a boule pitch big enough for 4 players. We have two vegetable patches big enough for my 7-year-old grandson. The boule pitch and the vegetable gardens will get officially opened on Christmas afternoon, before dinner. We are having a first Christmas special in Portelas.

It’s the nativity. We have just about got our feet under our new door in Portelas. This is our tiny nativity scene. Our first Christmas here. Eeek!


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