Portuguese Holiday Celebrations, Traditions, and Dishes!

If you’re spending Christmas in Portugal and don’t know what to expect, this article is for you!

Christmas is celebrated differently depending on the country’s religion and beliefs you are in. Portugal is a Catholic country, so Christmas is such an important event. One of the best parts of the holidays is the different and unique recipes, some of which have long family histories. Portuguese gastronomy is no different.

Continue on this article to find everything you need to know during this time of the year!

Christmas Markets

Throughout the country, local Christmas markets and some fairs are set up to celebrate the holidays, typically gathering local businesses and entertainment.

Christmas markets


Often displayed in homes, churches, and streets, these figurines compose a Christmas Nativity Scene, typically celebrating the birth of Christ, and can be family heirlooms.



On December 24th, Christmas Eve, Portuguese families gather around the country to feast on Christmas dinner together.

Missa do Galo

After Consoada, it is a tradition to attend a midnight mass that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. After this families exchange presents.


From January 1st to January 6th, groups gather to wander around singing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, wish everyone a happy New Year, and ask for leftovers or money.


Christmas Tree

We typically set the Christmas tree up on December 8th, the Immaculate Conception holiday, and take it down on January 6th, “Dia dos Reis”.

Portuguese Holiday Dishes

From the main dish to desserts, we have something for all ages! Ready for it?

Main Dishes:

  • Bacalhau à Consoada
  • Cabrito Assado 
  • Bacalhau a Brás
  •  Peru Recheado


  • Bolo Rei
  • Arroz Doce
  • Filhosas
  • Rabanadas

I hope this article gave you a little bit of the Portuguese Holiday spirit :) 

See you soon!

Juliane (Ju) OLS Community Manager

Last modified: Saturday, 24 December 2022, 1:32 PM