Could you spend next Christmas in your very own property in Portugal? If so, you may wish to adopt some of the country’s fabulous festive traditions. Here are 5 to get you started.

If you would like further advice on the buying process in Portugal, download your free Portugal Guide.


Like many European countries, Portugal places a huge emphasis on its nativity scenes. You’ll find them all over towns and cities and re-enactments are also very popular. Great care and attention go into domestic nativity scenes also and the pieces are often passed down the generations. As well as the usual figures, such as Mary, Joseph and Jesus, you’ll also find figures that represent Portuguese life, such as farmers.

Shoes by the fire

Whilst some countries opt for stockings at the fireplace, shoes are traditionally used in Portugal and laid out for the baby Jesus or Father Christmas. These shoes are then filled with presents to open the next day.


Consoada is the traditional Portuguese Christmas dinner, which is eaten on the 24th of December. Everything tends to be fish-based, the most traditional option being bacalhãu, which is cod. Bacalhãu de Consoada is the dish that most people would prepare at Christmas, and this would be served with cabbage, boiled eggs and boiled potatoes.

Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday home in Portugal by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to   Buying Abroad with Family

Bolo Rei and Bolo Rainha

Between Christmas and the epiphany on January 6, the Portuguese will tuck into Bolo Rei and Bolo Rainha, or King’s Cake and Queen’s Cake. These are both a kind of fruit cake and are inspired by the French Gâteau des Rois. The King’s Cake has candied fruit on top, whilst Bolo Rainha is plain.

“Bananeiro” de Braga

This Christmas tradition started in the town of Braga around 40 years ago. On the 24th of December, people traditionally meet at the pub to drink Moscatel de Setúbal, accompanied by a banana. It originated in a tavern that was also a fruit warehouse and the tradition has continued ever since.

Are you looking for a property in Portugal? Search on Green-Acres

Want to sell your property on Green-Acres? Advertise on Green-Acres