Erica Neves works for Tearfund in Brazil, part of our Latin America and Caribbean cluster.
Approximately 1-minute read
‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Living in a place like Brazil, which is predominantly a Christian country, means that Christmas is a big deal for us. On the evening of 24 December, we celebrate Jesus' birth with a special dinner. We usually have turkey, French toast and codfish – a dish from our Portuguese heritage. It is also very common to invite family members for a big lunch on the 25th to eat whatever is left over from the previous night.
Back when I was a girl, my father – who was a brilliant cook – used to make lamb for Christmas. Although he passed away two years ago due to dengue – a common disease carried by mosquitoes in tropical countries like Brazil – I still get to have lamb at Christmas because my husband learned how to prepare it, and that brings me lovely memories.
Finally, another custom I would like to highlight is the one I most enjoy: the assembly of Christmas trees and the Nativity scenes of various sizes and models on the streets, in the parks and in people’s homes. The presence of these everywhere adds a Christmas atmosphere long before Christmas Eve and invites us - even while running daily errands - to reflect upon the miracle of the incarnation of the Son of God.