The latest in our series of A to Z posts about living in Portugal.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” Isaiah 9:6
One of the traditional sights of Christmas in Portugal is the Nativity scene- and even in these days of austerity and recession, this enduring symbol of Christmas can still be found:
Ferragudo has its own little scene (above) which is set into a little carved rock cave by the side of the road – there is something quite charming and innocent about this one.
We also wanted to make sure that we had our own little offering sat under our Christmas tree this year – ours is a simple little affair too:
Many councils like to announce the coming King on a much larger scale – in Portimão the location of the crib may change each year – but wherever they place it in the town – you certainly can’t miss it!
The first time you walk past this life-size Nativity scene you certainly have to stop and have a look, it is quite impressive.
After all – it’s not every day that you see a life-size camel on the Algarve!
Then you look a little closer – and start to giggle! This year someone has placed a ‘make a wish’ lantern with a jar to collect money beside it on a stand in front of the Nativity scene – and sat beside that are these two figures – who I am pretty certain were not at the original crib in Jerusalem:
If anyone can tell me the significance of these two – please do!
Even the smallest villages join in with the Nativity tradition – this was Alte last Christmas – with another impressively large addition to a roundabout at the entrance to the village:
Many shops and stores also join in with the tradition:
And even the smallest little outfit often has an elaborate scene taking pride of place in the window:
This one below has a wonderful simplicity and design that I really like:
And this one was a far more elaborately inspired collection:
Even the local toy shop joined in – although I am not sure about some of the visitors to the crib here:
Sometimes the juxtaposition of the figures can seem at odds with the upmarket clothes and goods on display in the shop window – and some can give you a very unusual image too:
One of my favourite shots though has to be this one of the church in Lagos last Christmas – with the elaborately draped and embroidered scene of the Nativity hanging proudly from the church entrance – and underneath sits a homeless man begging:
Sort of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
Wherever you are – and whatever your Christmas traditions – may we wish you ‘Boas Festas’ and ‘Feliz Natal’
And if you have enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy our Christmas post from last year – The 12 Days of Christmas – Portuguese Style
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