Day 23

Duarte Graça has shared some Portugese customs, including a traditional Christmas sweet called ‘rabanada’ (which is sort of similar to french toast) which his granda used to make.

In Portugal, Christmas is, generally, very usual, though with its specific twists: decorations lighting the streets (including competition between many cities on who has the biggest tree of lights); monumental amounts of food, particularly cod, lamb and many types of sweets and desserts, like bolo-rei, rabanadas, aletria and pão-de-ló; (mostly) happy family reunions (to varying degrees); and some excessive consumerism too.

It is a time of contrasts, that highlights many issues, but also provides lots of much needed rest, recovery and comfort that seem to be less present throughout the rest of the year. It is a time that can inspire good deeds, generosity and solidarity. With all its flaws, it is a time that shows how heartwarming life can be. That’s the magic of the season!

There is an X-mas spirit song I particularly like – John Lennon’s Happy X-mas (War is Over). {The IAPS Music Group also thinks that this is a great song; watch this space. – Editor-in-Chief}