Well, it has certainly been a strange year, and I am sure for many people, they will be glad when 2020 is over. I have been at best bemused, and at worst, completely confused by all the different Covid measures that have been put in place – especially for the Christmas and New Year Period. My best advice is to check out the Safer Communities Potugal website and Facebook Page as they always give out reliable and sensible information.
Luckily not everything has been cancelled and we can still enjoy some Christmas events safely.
The Living Statues in Lagoa
One of our favourite events of the year is still going ahead and we are delighted. The Estátuas Vivas no Natal – the Living Statues – will be in Lagoa on Friday 18th December from 1430 – 1730 hrs and again on Saturday 19th December from 0900 – 1200 hrs.
They will be laid out differently this year respecting all safety standards and health requirements in relation to COVID-19.
For us, they always represent the start of Christmas with their magical outfits and arresting presence on the street. I have no idea how they manage to hold their poses so brilliantly, and their costumes and displays are exquisite. You can find out more about them on their Facebook Page and if you type ‘statues’ in the search bar on the right of this page you can view all our previous years’ posts about this fabulous event.
The Christmas Presépio
Well the main event has to be the impressive giant nativity scene at Vila Real de Santo António which will be open to visits between November 30 and January 6 at the António Aleixo Cultural Centre. Entry costs only 50 cents and you can enjoy a display that features over 5,600 figures. It is believed to be the largest presépio in the country.
It can be visited between 10am and 1pm and 2.30pm and 7pm for a symbolic fee of €0.50, except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when doors will close at 6pm. On New Year’s Day, the cultural centre will open at 2.30pm.
For me, though, the magic lies in a much simpler, but no less impressive presépio which is in the tiny village of Alferce, above Monchique. The roads leading to the centre are lined with life-size animals and characters and in the main square is a fabulous village scene – recreated with the most amazing attention to detail.
Many of the figures are mechanical and portray tiny little cameos of rural life brought magically to life for you. Everything is lovingly created with so many characters and scenes to enjoy – and it is all free too.
We contacted the local Freguesia and they assured us the presépio would be in place by ‘on or around the 15th December’ and it will be there well into the New Year. So if you get the chance to visit this pretty little village – we can recommend it.
Algarve Network for Families in Need
Dave and I chatted and decided that we could not think of anything that we either wanted or needed for Christmas this year, so we made a generous donation to the Algarve Network for Families in Need charity instead.
There are so many families that are struggling more than ever this year, and worrying about how to put food on the table – let alone buy presents for their children. This is an excellent – if sadly necessary – charity that supports local families by re-purposing items no longer required and collecting food items each week which they then distribute to those who need it.
Online Christmas Charity Fair
You can also help the charity by having a look through the Online Christmas Charity Fair Catalogue – click the image above or the link below – which includes a host of original art work and prints for sale. (You’ll even find some of my art in there too!)
50% of all the revenue made from the sales will go directly to the charity. I have already sold one of my paintings in the catalogue (sorry – Loulé Window has already gone!) so why not have a look and see if anything catches your eye?
Dave Sheldrake Photography – Online Shop
If you are still struggling with what to buy for Christmas, Dave has finally set up his online shop, where you can purchase a wide range of wall art showcasing some of his Algarve Images. You can click the image above or the link below to find out more information.
Living the Quieter Algarve Dream
And of course if you are looking for a little something extra to fill up your Christmas Stocking – why not buy one or both of my books! For more information visit my website:
Tomorrow Algarve Magazine
I now write an article each month for the Tomorrow Magazine. You can read this bumper Christmas Edition of the publication free online – it has lots more Christmas ideas and events for you to enjoy. Click here to read the original printed version online or here to read the smartphone/tablet friendly version.
Their website also has a special Christmas Market feature with a wide range of goods and special offers. Click here to view now.