Christmas Traditions in Brazil Explained

Whether you are a fan or not, Christmas is unarguably a very dear and celebrated date in most of the world, and Brazil is no exception. Ever since I was a child I can remember my mom and grandma preparing all the food, decoration, inviting the whole family over and we all had a blast throughout the evening.

If you prefer video, take a look at our YouTube video about some Brazilian Christmas Traditions, including a dish made with apple and mayo and the mystery involving “Chester”, the secret chicken breed:

why does brazil have a mix of Xmas traditions?

In this post, we are breaking down all the major Christmas traditions in Brazil, explaining the story behind them, we will go over why Brazil is such a mixed bag of holiday habits, take a look at the major Xmas dishes (everyone’s favorite part), and much more!

Why Does Brazil Have A Mix of Xmas Traditions?

The answer to that is quite obvious, actually. Brazil has such a big mix of Christmas traditions due to the fact that since the Portuguese colonized the local indigenous people in Brazil, the country has continuously absorbed many different cultures that have been part of its history.

Since Christmas has a strong religious connection and Brazil houses several different religions due to its rich cultural background, the holiday is celebrated in different ways by them. Here is how the main religious entities in Brazil celebrate Xmas:

Catholicism & Evangelical Christianity

A great portion of the Brazilian population is Catholic or Evangelical, which means that they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas. It is very traditional for families (especially of older generations) to tend the mass and celebrate the occasion, and the most famous celebration in the country is the Midnight Mass celebrated by the Pope in the Vatican every December 24th at midnight.

Catholic families also like to gather their loved ones at home to celebrate the date with a big dinner, exchanging gifts, and having a nice time with the whole family, The next day, a lot of families meet again to have lunch and finish off the leftovers from the day before’s feast.


The Jewish people recognize Jesus as a wise and intelligent man, however, he does not represent the Messiah for them and, for this reason, the Jews do not celebrate the date. In Brazil, a great portion of the Amazon people is Jewish, which means that a large portion of the country doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

The Jews respect and understand the context of the festivities for Christians, and even participate and engage in parties when invited, but the date is considered a normal day for them. The most important celebration for followers of the religion is called Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Despite being Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas. This is because the Bible does not inform the date of Jesus’ birth, which makes the date meaningless for the religion and means that there is no there are no exchanges of gifts and banquets.

The main date for Jehovah’s Witnesses is the death of Christ, which is celebrated in his memory at the religious gathering.


The Umbanda is an Afro-Brazilian religion with Catholic influences, which is the reason why the Umbandistas celebrate Christmas. They say that they worship and believe in Jesus Christ, who, in the Umbanda religion, is in synch with the Oxalá deity.

Still, the celebration doesn’t always feature the standard Christmas decorations or traditions as Catholics tho, as the Umbandistas feel free to celebrate the way they feel most comfortable. They celebrate from doing simple rituals, such as burning sage, singing, and dancing, to even celebrating with friends and family at parties.


Brazil is estimated to have around 1.5 million Islamic followers in the country (especially in São Paulo and Paraná), which makes it a pretty significant number. But when it comes to the holidays, Muslims and followers of the Islamic religion do not celebrate Christmas.

Followers of the religion believe in all prophets, stating that Jesus Christ is the predecessor of the prophet Muḥammad, the last prophet of the God of Abraham. Common Christmas symbols, such as the nativity scene and the Christmas tree, are not put on display and there is also no gift exchange.

Despite that, Muslims wish their friends Merry Christmas, send messages, and have a lot of respect for the day, despite not celebrating it. Instead, Muslims celebrate Ramadan every year, the date on which the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have received a revelation from Allah. The beginning of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar and the Muslim people fast for 29 days, between sunrise and sunset.

Common Christmas Traditions In Brazil

Even though most of these traditions have Catholic origins and do not represent all cultures and religions in Brazil, here are the most common Christmas traditions around the country:

1. The Christmas Tree

The Brazilian Xmas Tree is pretty similar to the one on most households around the world, with the exception that it is usually artificial instead of natural, mainly because the weather is too hot in December (Summer begins on December 20th in Brazil). – Credit: Dreamstime | Andre Ricardo

Christmas Trees are undoubtedly the most striking symbols of this festive date in Brazil and most of the world, as they are present inside homes, in stores, and sometimes even become the attraction of a few Brazilian towns such as Penedo, located on the mountainside of Rio de Janeiro (a place we have briefly gone over in this post and will also go over a little later on this topic)

The tradition of decorating trees emerged between the second and third millennium BC. When Indo-European people had a great devotion to trees, as they felt like they expressed Mother Nature’s energy and fertility. However, the Christmas tree as we know it today would only appear in Germany at Christmas time in 1846.

Basically, history goes that German Prince Albert, husband of British Queen Victoria, set up a Christmas tree in the British palace, and soon after that, the custom was adhered to throughout England, and later on by the rest of the world (Brazil included of course).

Christmas Trees in Brazil Nowadays

As I mentioned earlier, with the arrival of December, decorating the Christmas tree is a custom that was and still remains very strong among a lot of Brazilians. Unlike countries in the Northern Hemisphere, where Christmas occurs during the winter and the trees are usually real, in Brazil, the most common are artificial trees.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that the younger generations are growing less enthusiastic about these traditions, mainly fueled by the fact that most of them are European-based, a completely different culture than the one in Brazil.

While most people still like to decorate their houses for the holidays, you may get to see less of the Christmas tree in Brazilian households in the next following years, as people are also preferring more practical and functional ways to adorn their places.

2. The Star of Bethlehem (Christmas Star)

Traditionally placed on the top of the Christmas Tree, the star of Bethlehem was used by the three wise men as a way of guiding themselves throughout the desert without getting lost and being able to find the location where baby Jesus was born – Credit: Dreamstime | Kevin Carden

The Christmas tradition of placing a star on top of the Christmas tree represents the Star of Bethlehem, which served as a guide for the three wise men to get to where Jesus was born. According to tradition, the star must have four points, representing the cardinal points and a luminous tail, just like the shooting star.

There is a theory that says that started around the year 1530, when German professor Martin Luther was walking through a forest with many pine trees, looked up at the sky, and gazed at the countless stars above his head.

With that in mind, he decided to take home a pine tree and put a star on top of it, to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, just as it is narrated in the Bible about the birth of Jesus. The tradition began being passed from generation to generation and the star became popularly known as the Christmas Star.

3. Christmas Lights

The Christmas light show at Gramado is one of the city’s most famous touristic attractions, also being one of the most popular Xmas destinations in the country. Lights and blinkers are very traditional in Brazil, so get ready to see some amazing creations! – Credit: Wiki Commons | Larissa Fraga

Christmas lights (or blinkers) are very traditional and often used during the end of the year festivities in most of the world to decorate the house and symbolize the birth of Christ. It is very common to see a lot of homes in Brazil decorated with Christmas lights both on the outside and on the inside.

The tradition is especially strong in a few parts of the country, like in São Paulo for instance, which holds an annual contest since 2018 called “Cidade Iluminada SP” (SP Enlightened City). The contest aims to prize the best and most creative Christmas lights set in the city, in which the top spots are rewarded for participating.

Later on in the post, we will go over the top spots where Christmas is celebrated, and we will go over the Christmas lighting in each of them, so make sure to check the best holiday decorations in Brazil!

4. Other Traditional Christmas Decoration in Brazil

The Nativity Scene and the Three Wise Men

Legend has it that the tradition of having the nativity scene as part of the holiday decoration was created by Saint Francis of Assisi, who recreated the birth of Jesus with real actors and animals during a Christmas mass. The set ended up gaining the admiration of the followers and soon after that, most religious families started displaying the scene in their homes.

Along with the figure of baby Jesus, it is very common to see the portrayal of the three wise men, who gave the newborn presents as a sign of devotion and recognition. The first wise man, Melchior, brought gold (a gift that was given to kings), the second, Gaspar, brought incense (a gift given to the priests), and finally, Balthazar brought myrrh (gift given to the prophets).

The Christmas Wreath

Made out of green twigs intertwined with cypress, the Christmas wreath, also known as a wreath, was used by the ancient Romans as a sign of health for their residents. It is very common to find these decorating the doorsteps of many Brazilian households, being one of the main holiday ornaments in the country.

Poinsettia or Christmas Flower

Another decoration item that is commonly seen in Brazil is the poinsettia flower, also known as the Christmas Flower. According to the legend, a girl was going to a Christmas Mass, however, she was sad that she didn’t have any presents to offer Jesus. So then she decided to pick up dry branches of plants on the way.

As she arrived at the church crying over the dry branches, they bloomed into beautiful and luscious red flowers, representing a miracle. The flower is since then been used as an ornament for the holidays, symbolizing hopefulness and faith.

4. Santa Claus

The image of the chubby white-bearded old man wearing a red winter outfit is an adaptation of how St. Nicholas of Mira was said to wear while he was alive. The image was used as an advertisement for Coca-Cola and quickly spread across the world – Credit: Dreamstime | Chernetskaya

One of the most emblematic figures at Christmas time is of course Santa Claus, a bearded, chubby old man who wears red. In Christmas tradition, Santa Claus is the character who brings presents for well-behaved children on Christmas Eve, also being known for flying around the skies in his sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, (his helpers) in the task of delivering gifts to every home.

The historical origin of Santa Claus is directly related to St. Nicholas of Mira, (also known as Nicholas Thaumaturgist), a Christian bishop who lived between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. After his parents die prematurely, St. Nicholas inherited his family’s wealth and then started to use the money to distribute gifts to the poor, especially to orphaned children.

St. Nicholas’ fame within the Catholic Church is very big, and the figure of Santa Claus is very similar to the description of this bishop: an old man with a white beard and red clothes. The image of Santa Claus as we know it today was the result of a 1920’s Coca-Cola advertising campaign, which were a hit at the time and consolidated the current image of St. Nicholas.

Santa Claus in Brazil Nowadays

As we mentioned earlier in the post, Brazilians are embracing their own culture and uniqueness more and more, which is making them question their relationship with the image of Christmas perpetrated in most of the world. After all, Christmas in Brazil happens during the Summer, so the whole “fireplace and snow” imagery doesn’t really fit with the country.

But while there is an exponential growth in terms of people abandoning the image of Santa Claus (and Christmas) in heavy cold garments, most of the population is still familiar and celebrates Xmas referencing the good old man with a long white beard and red outfit.

5. Christmas Dinner

Between December 24th and 25th, at midnight, many Brazilian families have the tradition of having a big Christmas dinner. Although this also exists in other countries, some of the foods present at the dining table of Brazilians are very characteristic and traditional. Among them, it is possible to mention the farofa, the salpicão, the french toast, and the panettone, among several others (which we will go over later in this topic).

Regarding the starting point for this tradition, one of the theories goes way back to the time of antiquity, when in the month of December (winter in Europe), European residents used to leave the doors of their homes open so that travelers could stay overnight due to the intense cold.

So the family and the travelers ate together, and the next morning the travelers would leave to continue on their journey. This habit ended up becoming the Christmas Supper eventually, and nowadays, the family gathers with friends for dinner to celebrate.

But there is another theory that says that the Christmas dinner tradition date long before Jesus was born. In other words, it would be a tradition of pagan origin, where banquets were prepared to celebrate the winter solstice. During the celebration, citizens would gather to participate in the supper and also exchanged gifts among family members.

Either way, this is still a strong tradition in Brazil, in which most families like to gather and celebrate the holidays. Now, let’s cut to the chase and check out which are the most traditional Christmas dishes around Brazil.

Top 10 Most Popular Christmas Dinner Dishes in Brazil

  • 1. Turkey

    The turkey is a typical Christmas dish that is part of the Christmas dinner and is very traditional in the United States for the celebration of Thanksgiving. According to tradition, the bird symbolizes prosperity and abundance. This tradition came to Brazil in the 19th century and eventually received the Brazilian treatment, in which tropical fruits are added to the dish.
  • 2. Codfish

    Those who are not really fans poultry meat at Christmas will certainly not feel excluded at a Brazilian Xmas table. It is also very common and traditional for people to have baked codfish during the holidays, which is usually served with potatoes and a lot of olive oil.

    This dish is a strong reminder of the Portuguese traditions inherited by Brazil from the colonial times and It is one of the most popular typical dishes consumed in the period.

    As an appetizer, there is also a strong tradition of serving deep-fried codcakes on Christmas, which is one of my personal favorite dishes of the holiday season.
  • 3. Christmas Rice

    Brazilians are big on rice and Christmas is no exception. The version served at the holiday tables is usually made with raisins, but there are other preparation which use rice as their basis, such as Greek rice, champagne rice, cod rice, walnut rice, chestnut and cashew, among others.
  • 4. Farofa

    This is actually one of my favorite dishes ever, which we have also previously mentioned in this article about famous Brazilian food. Farofa is basically fried cassava flour with braised garlic and onions, a very popular side dish in most regions of the country.

    There are a lot of variations of this dish as well, in which people use ingredients such as bacon, bananas, fried eggs and even almonds to make it even more delicious.
  • 5. Salpicão

    The Salpicão is a type of cold salad dish of Portuguese origin made with codfish, tuna or chicken. Due to the fact that it is a simple, easy and low-cost dish, it is also very popular in most places in the country.
  • 6. Holiday Season Fruits

    In Ancient Rome, the arrival of the Winter Solstice was celebrated around December 25th, and it was customary to bathe fruit in gold to decorate the house that night, which was the longest of the year. In Brazilian lands, date fruits and peaches were replaced by their tropical counterparts, such as pineapples and mangos.
  • 7. Pudim de Leite

    Pudding is one of the most beloved desserts at the Christmas dinner table in Brazil and my personal favorite of all the sweets served in the holidays. Whether it is a Milk Pudding or a Bread Pudding, both are very easy to prepare and certainly pleases most Brazilian people, as it is very popular around the country.
  • 8. Brazilian Chocolate Pavê

    Pavê is a very typical Brazilian dessert that resembles a tiramisu, with the exception that it adds a little bit of liquor to the recepie instead of coffee). They basically are a no-bake layered dessert, usually made with a combination of cookies or biscuits and different creams and fruits or chocolate.

    The chocolate pavê is arguably the most famous version of the recepie, but you will also be able to find strawberry pavê, pineapple pavê, white chocolate pavê, peanut pavê, coconut pavê and ice cream pavê around the Xmas dinner tables around the country.
  • 9. Panetone

    Legend has it that “Toni’s bread” appeared in Milan, Italy, around the year 1400. The young baker was said to have prepared the dish to impress his boss, as he was in love with the chef’s daughter. The recipe was a success and quickly spread around the world, gaining versions with candied fruits, chocolate and dulce de leche.
  • 10. Rabanada (French Toast)

    The mixture of bread, milk and eggs becomes a reinforced snack for religious periods such as Lent, in which people enter a longer period of fasting. The dish is said to have first appeared in the Iberian Peninsula, having made its way to Brazil with the immigrants.

6. The Gift Exchange

Whether among family or friends, exchanging gifts at this time of year is a habit that emerged many years ago and remains one of the most symbolic Christmas traditions not only in the country but all over the world. Children are obviously the ones who are most psyched about getting presents.

In addition to buying gifts, it is also common, especially among older people, to make their own gifts, which makes them unique and special. My grandma, for instance, knew that I love a specific brand of soaps, so every year, she would knit me this little bag, fill it with miniature soaps and gift it to me so that I could put it inside my closet and make my clothes smell good.

If you need some ideas of what to gift during Christmas in Brazil, watch this video with some ideas:

Or check out this list of some other popular options:

Common Christmas Gifts For Children

  • gaming consoles (Playstation, XBox, Nintendo Switch)
  • board games (War, Monopoly, Battleship)
  • sports equipment (Soccer team official shirt, soccer ball, football boots)
  • various types of dolls and action figures (Bratz, Monster High, Baby Alive, Spider Man, Funko Dolls) and other toys (Hot Wheels, Infinity Nado)
  • a bicycle

Common Christmas Gifts For Adults

For Men
  • grooming kit
  • pieces of clothing (tie, dress shirt, wallet, briefs, a new pair of shoes)
  • artisanal beer kit
  • sunglasses
  • a new watch

For Women

  • accessories (jewelry, bags, wallets)
  • pieces of clothing (dress, skirt, blouse, tops, shorts)
  • shoes
  • skin and haircare products
  • spa day treatment voucher

For Everybody

  • earpods
  • an artisanal candle
  • a coffee making machine
  • a nice set of picture frames
  • a bottle of the person’s favorite drink
  • a smartwatch
  • tablets
  • home decoration pieces

7. Amigo Oculto (Secret Santa)

By the looks of it, this group of ladies most likely had a coffee mug-themed Secret Santa during the holidays! This is a fun and very traditional way of exchanging gifts at Christmas, and it is particularly popular at workplaces around the country – Credit: Flickr | Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte

It’s hard to say exactly when, but the tradition of playing Secret Santa amongst family and friends at Christmas time has become a very popular tradition among Brazilians. Overall, Secret Santa’s goal is to bring a group of people together in a fun and lively way, making the exchange of gifts a secondary factor in this game.

In Brazil, it is very common to see people playing Secret Santa while having a theme for the gifts. For example, a lot of families (including mine!) like to gift Havaianas (take a look at this post if you want to know what that is), since there are literally hundreds of models and it is fun to see which one people think fits you best.

This is also often done in Brazil as a way of limiting a price range for gifts. For instance, I remember when I was in college and a lot of us didn’t have much money to buy gifts for one another, so we would put a top price on the gifts so that everyone could join in the game and not feel excluded.

Inimigo Oculto

There is a variation of the Secret Santa game in Brazil called Inimigo Oculto, which I am not sure what is it called in English. But basically, it’s a twist on the original in which you must prank your Secret Santa by gifting something funny, like a coffee mug that looks like a toilet seat to someone who spends too much time in the bathroom in the morning (which I once gifted a roommate lol).

This is usually done in a smaller group of friends, as you need to have a little intimacy to figure what to prank someone without totally offending them, as well as being able to take the joke you are about to be gifted with.

8. Most Famous Christmas Movies In Brazil

As in a lot of other places in the world, it is also pretty traditional to spend Christmas watching movies in Brazil, so we have prepared a small selection of the top 5 most famous Christmas movies in the country:

  • Home Alone

    If you grew up in the ’90s then you have certainly seen this classic on TV many times. As a family plans to travel to Paris for Christmas, they end up forgetting their younger son Kevin (played by 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin), behind. Kevin then has to defend his house alone from insistent thugs who plan a robbery on Xmas day. This movie has been on constant replay on one of Brazil’s biggest TV broadcasters and still is a favorite on every holiday.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

    This classic Tim Burton movie is another Brazilian favorite during Christmas Time. The movie follows Pumpkin King Jack Skellington (who lives in a city where every day is Halloween) as he finds a portal to another world and discovers Christmas. With the intention of bringing the Christmas spirit to his town, Jack kidnaps “Sandy” Claus (Santa Claus), in a plan that ends up going completely wrong.
  • The Polar Express

    The Polar Express is a classic Christmas movie for the people who were born in the late 90s and lived their childhood in the 2000s. In this animation, considered the first work to be 100% digitally captured, a young boy boards a train called Polar Express on Christmas Eve for the North Pole, embarking on a journey that is considered a bit deeper, eschewing a bit of the usually unconditionally joyful Christmas stories.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life

    A true cinema classic and the oldest film on our small list, Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life is a very famous Xmas movie in Brazil and it is a movie for those who don’t mind crying during Christmas (This is Us fans will most likely appreciate this pick, make sure you watch it if you haven’t already!).
    The movie was nominated for several Oscars, having won the Golden Globe for Best Director, and tells the story of George Bailey (James Stewart), a businessman who is in deep financial trouble and decides to kill himself on Christmas Eve. When he’s about to jump off a bridge, he comes across an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers), who makes him reflect on his life and the consequences of his actions.
  • The Grinch

    The Grinch is a 2000 kids movie made for the ones who are not really fans of the Christmas celebrations. Based on Dr. Seuss’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1957), the movie tells the story of the Grinch (Jim Carrey), a grumpy green being who hates Christmas and does everything to prevent it from being celebrated in the city of Whoville.
    However, when he meets Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), a sweet and innocent girl, they both embark together on a journey as they discover the true meaning of Christmas. This was actually my niece’s favorite movie as a child and I cannot tell you how many times she made me watch it on Christmas!

9. Most Famous Christmas Songs in Brazil

Just as important as the movies, Christmas songs are a hit in Brazil. With music for all tastes, we have listed a Top 5 of the best Christmas songs in the country, check it out:

  • Jingle Bell Rock

    Without a doubt it is the most played, the most anticipated and the most requested song of any Christmas party! There are even some versions and parodies very popular around Brazil, which goes to just demonstrates the strength of this beautiful Christmas carol.
  • Anoiteceu (Eu pensei que todo mundo fosse filho de Papai Noel) – A very popular Xmas carol all over the country, “Anoiteceu” is also a favorite amongs children, who love the happy vibes of the song!
  • Silent Night
    Another Christmans classic that couldn’t be left out our list. There are tons of versions of this song, you can find the most beautiful or even unusual rendentions of it, such as the punk rock version recorded by São Paulo group Patife9Band in 1985.
  • Então É Natal – If you ask around, most Brazilians will probably tell you that they even love or hate this song. “Então É Natal” is a Brazilian Portuguese rendition of Paul McCarney’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, but it has been overplayed so much ever since its release in 1995, that a lot of people grew tired of the song.
    Still, it is one of the most popular and representative Xmas songs in Brazil, and you will most likely hear it play almost anywhere you go in the country during the holidays.
  • Blue Cristmas – At last not least, this Elvis Presley holiday carol may be old in age, but the Xmas feeling it evokes whenever it is played is still brand new. Brazilians love this song as well, making it last on our top 5 Christmas songs in Brazil.

10. Where To Spend Christmas In Brazil

Even though you won’t be making snow angels in Brazil, it is still nice to spend Christmas in the country. Especially in the south portion of the country, many cities invest in the holiday market and fill their buildings Xfestive with lights and prepare special attractions to receive visitors.

So, if you are looking to spend Christmas a little bit differently, we have listed the top 7 cities with the best Christmas in Brazil to make your planning easier:

Blumenau (Santa Catarina)

The city of Santa Catarina truly embraces the Christmas spirit and promotes a series of events from the beginning of December till the last day of the month. There are themed parades scheduled, you can visit Santa’s house and a place called Espaço da Neve, a place filled with fake snow and lots of beautiful decoration.
If you left all the shopping to the last minute, you can buy almost anything at the city’s Mercado de Natal and also learn how to make cookies and decorate them in the classes ministered at the Biscoitos & Pinturas Workshop.

Petrópolis (Rio de Janeiro)

Petrópolis is a charming small city (which we have previously talked about in this post) located on the mountainside of Rio de Janeiro, which become even more appealing during the holidays. In addition to the lighting of the entire Historic Center of the city and its surroundings, Petrópolis goes full Xmas mode in December, having orchestras, choirs, special movie and theater sessions, art exhibitions, and other cultural events all the way through January! Talk about loving Christmas, huh?

Curitiba (Paraná)

Christmas in Curitiba is certainly one of the most beautiful and famous in the country. The city really gets into the Christmas mood and you will notice most of the buildings and houses decorated with nativity scenes, artificial trees, wreaths, and lights everywhere.
One of the main highlights is the children’s choir, which performs on selected dates throughout the month of December. The performances take place at Palácio Avenida, one of the most beautiful spots in the city.

Campos do Jordão (São Paulo)

Known for its famous Winter Festival, every year Campos do Jordão is also decorated to receive tourists at Christmas time. Various Christmas decorations are set up around the city and most houses and shops are decorated with lights that illuminate the city’s cold nights.
In addition to cultural presentations and various events scheduled for the holidays, the kids can have fun and take pictures with Santa, as the adults can do some last-minute shopping in the close-by stores.

Gramado (Rio Grande do Sul)

Gramado is another city that heavily invests in Christmas, which is nothing new to Brazilians, as the city is a popular and famous Xmas location in the country. There are tons of cultural events, performances, and shows spread throughout the city, which not only thrill the spectators, but also seek to rescue the symbolism of the date.
Amongst the surprises expected, you can count on Christmas parades, choirs, fireworks shows, a Christmas Village, and many activities that will certainly please people of all ages.

Canela (Rio Grande do Sul)

Located about 15 minutes away from Gramado, Canela is another Christmas destination in Brazil that will most definitely quench your holiday thirst, as the city is big on the festivities.
Among the expected activities, there is always theatre, dance acts, music bands, and beautiful choirs in addition to the enchanting decoration spread throughout the city.

And that was it for our holiday post on the Christmas traditions in Brazil! Being such a mixed country with various ethnicities and cultures, it is only natural that the date is celebrated differently (and sometimes not even celebrated at all) by each of them, so let’s praise the Christmas spirit!

While you are here, I think we might interest you with these:

11 Great Reasons To Move to Brazil – whether you are an ex-pat looking to work in the country or just someone who wants to live in a different place, take a look at these 11 reasons on why you should move to Brazil and start planning your trip!

Do I Need Travel Insurance While Traveling to Brazil? – whether it is mandatory or not, it is very important to have travel insurance while travelling to Brazil or any other country in the world, so click here and take a look at why you should get it

Travel to Brazil for cheap: 19 tips for a budget-friendly trip – worried that your savings won’t be enough for you to get around in Brazil? Don’t worry my friend, we got your back with 19 amazing tips on how you can lower your trip costs!

Cover Image: part of Gramado’s Xmas decoration in the South of Brazil – Credit: ID 26588250 © Alexandre Fagundes De Fagundes |

Related Questions

Does Brazil believe in Santa Claus?

Yes, Brazil still has a strong tradition of having Santa Claus as one of the biggest representations of the Christmas celebration. Although there is a cultural movement that is questioning whether the whole “white Christmas in the snow” imagery fits such tropical and hot country, it is still pretty common to find Santa decorations at the end of the year.

Cover Photo: Dietmar Rabich

Bruno Reguffe

What's up, everyone! I'm Bruno, and I'm a nutritionist living in Rio de Janeiro. I've been a longtime friend of Ana's, and I'm excited to help her expand on all things Brazilian with y'all, as well as sharing some of our culture and a few personal experiences while living in the country!

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