The Christmas traditions that best characterize Braga

In Braga, there is no Christmas without lots of food and drinks, without a mass and without some other habits more or less religious. All traditions that characterize well the city and the region.

Get to know some of the religious traditions, gastronomical traditions, superstitions and so on that mark Christmas time in Braga:

Going to Bananeiro

It’s the most recent and also the most peculiar tradition. It may not seem very Christmas-like going to a store on Christmas Eve only to drink a glass of muscatel wine and eat a banana, but the truth is that it is. Throughout the years, Bananeiro has become a place of reunion for Braga’s people. Every Christmas, there are friends and family members that see each other at rua do Souto and next to Largo do Paço – all because of the muscatel and banana’s tradition that gets them together at the same time and place.  It’s the best of two worlds: you get to see people and to drink and eat a little more.

Credits: Planet Party

Going to Midnight Mass

We couldn’t be talking about Braga if there wasn’t a religious tradition, even more at Christmas! The time of the year demands going to mass. All over the country, but mainly in Minho and North, the populations go to a celebration at midnight, on Christmas’ day. It’s Midnight Mass. Once again, it’s an occasion to see people and, of course, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and kiss the new-born baby.

Credits: Céu Ameixinha – Youtube

Not to tidy up the table of Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, after dinner, it’s usual in Minho’s houses to leave the food on the table. And it’s not off laziness – people from Minho are not like that. The truth is that not tidying up the table is due to a superstition. The food must remain on the table until the next day so that the angels can feed themselves. Otherwise, something bad is ought to happen. At least this was the old believe. Today, this is more like a habit that people took on because of the superstition.

Credits: José Doutel Coroado

Eating way to much

This is a tradition that seems to be transversal to the whole country. In a land like Minho, where you eat really well all the year, Christmas could only mean eating way too much. With codfish, octopus and turkey, ‘aletria, ‘mexidos’ and ‘bolos-rei’, it’s impossible to resist “encher o bandulho” (get really full), as we say around here. During Christmas Eve and day, families eat while preparing typical dishes, they eat when they visits their friends and family members at their homes, they eat the usual meals, etc, etc… You almost (just almost) get full only by hearing about it, right?

Credits: Mulher Portuguesa