Lisbon at Christmas time: students, beggers, New Year’s Eve & traditions

Already in October Lisbon is busy decorating the streets and the trees. Thousands of lovely colourful Christmas lights decorate the city.

Lisbon Chirstmas lights church in Mouraria near Praca Martim Moniz

Mouraria, in December, church near Praça Martim Moniz

Authentic apartment for rent in this historical part of Lisbon

Lisbon November 23rd children choir Christmas Carols Rossio

Rossio, November 23rd. A children’s choir singing Christmas carols (Janeiras).

Lisbon, Christmas tree 2017

At the night of December 31, thousands of people gather near the waterfront of the Tagus River at Praça do Comércio, to welcome the new year.

Christmas time in Lisbon students try to sing and ask or money

Tradition: students (try to 😉   ) sing a Christmas Carol in the streets and ask for money..

Lisbon Christmas 2008 begging people

A woman, also dressed in black, is asking for money too…..

…..and there’s a lot of poor people begging on the streets of Lisbon, not only at Christmas time….

Lisbon Christmas lights Praca dom Pedro IV Rossio

Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio), Christmas decoration and beautiful ‘wave’ pavement

On Christmas Eve , December 24, mosts restaurants are closed from lunchtime. Families gather around the Christmas tree. Many attend the Midnight Mass (Missa do Galo). After mass they gather around the table and have supper.

Firework Lisbon

Praça do Comércio, December 31

In the best of Portuguese traditions, a shower of light and colour will flood Lisbon’s most famous square, with a fireworks display to the sound of the twelve gongs. From 22:00 there’s a stage with live concerts with famous Portuguese names and plenty of entertainment. Also in Parque das Nações there is a fireworks show near the river.

Christmas cake Bolo Rei Lisbon

Traditional Portuguese New Years cake

Feliz Natal! (Happy New Year!). Traditional is Bolo Rei (Kings’ cake). This fruitcake is a typically New Years cake, but is becoming popular during Christmas Holidays. In the cake there are two surprises: one is a little present, the other one is not welcomed: a raw broad bean. Whoever gets this bean has to buy the Bolo Rei in the coming year.

Looking for an apartment at Christmas time in the historical center of Lisbon? You’re welcome!

Roasted chestnuts Lisbon & November 11 Saint Martin Day traditions

The unmistakable smell of roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas) is announcing autumn’ s arrival in Portugal. Quentes e boas’! ‘(Get’ em hot!). This cry goes out on the Lisbon streets.

chestnuts in Lisbon December 08 quente e boas

‘Hot and good, a dozen for € 2“.

Much to the chagrin of many, the traditional paper cone made out of the Yellow Papers has been replaced by soulless paper packages, which takes something away from the ritual of chestnuts.

Chestnuts in Lisbon white paper bag instead of yellow papers

Baixa area, the commercial heart of Lisbon

Saint Martin Day, is celebrated on November 11.

It is called Magusto. This day is the peak of three days, often with very good weather, known as Verão de São Martinho (Saint Martin’s summer). The Portuguese celebrate it with jeropiga (a sweet liqueur wine) and roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas).

Tram Lisbon Feliz Natal and roasted chestnuts

Rossio, Lisbon in December

On Saint Martin’s Day traditions dictate that family and friends gather around a glowing hearth or bonfire, where they roast chestnuts and drink água-pé (a watered kind of wine), jeropiga, vinho novo (young wine), or the slow smooth burn of aguardente (‘firewater’, alcoholic drinks between 29 and 60 percent alcohol).

Chestnuts and Jeropiga

Chestnuts and jeropiga

Because this pagan festival is a celebration of life, there is food and drink and plenty of fun: in some regions people smother themselves with ashes, black themselves up and sing around the fire.

Largo do Chiado chestnuts

Largo do Chiado, Lisbon

Lisbon at Christmas time: X-mas kitsch, a giant tree, sexy X-mas lingerie & ‘Maria Temptations’ restaurant

In December, thousands of colorful lights decorate Lisbon. Portuguese people love ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, celebrating Christmas with a lot of X-mas kitsch. Everywhere you look you see blinking neon lights, Christmas markets and decorated shops.

Lisbon Christmas 2009 Rua da Prata

Rua da Prata, in December…….

If you are a Christmas hater, maybe it’s a better idea to visit this fascinating city some other time of the year 😉

Movie Christmas decoration

Lisbon Christmas 2009 Theatre Dona Maria

National Theatre Teatro Nacional Doña Maria II.

Christmas time in Lisbon is similar to everywhere else in the world, except that the decorations has a higher kitsch factor.

Lisbon Christmas 2009 sexy window dressing

Rua da Palma,

lingerie shop close to one of my favorite restaurants in Lisbon, RAMIRO

Lisbon Christmas 2009 Hermes window dressing

HermesLargo do Chiado 9.

In Portugal people really love  Christmas window dressing with animals!

Lisbon Chirstmas window dressing 2009

Of course, children love it!

Feira da Ladra alternativa recycled Nespresso cups

Creative Christmas decoration 🙂

Christmas decoration made from recycled Nespresso caps

Lisbon December 2009 Christmas and baggers

A creative idea to make some money at Christmas time……

Lisbon Christmas 2009 united colours shrinked Benetton pullovers

Benetton shop Lisbon, window dressing,  Rua Garrett

The shrinked sweaters of  Benetton  😉

Lisbon Restaurant the Temptations of Goa Jesus Maria2

Restaurant  “Tentações (Temptations) de Goa”.

Tentações de Goa”, Rua S. Pedro Mártir, nº 23. Open for lunch from 12:00, dinner from 19:00 – 00:00. Closed on Sundays and Holidays. Vegetarian friendly.

My holiday  3-bedroom apartment with lovely private patio in this area is for rent (short term)

Lisbon giant Christmas tree  Praça do Comércio 

NEW YEAR: on the night of December 31, Lisbon is one big street party! Live music and a fantastic fireworks display  at the famous square Praça do Comércio will be filled on the night of December 31st with concerts by Portuguese bands . Cultural agenda Lisbon

According to the Portuguese tradition, twelve wishes are made to the sound of the twelve bell tolls, toasting with champaign to the new year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! FELIZ ANO NOVO!

Traditional Christmas window dressing in Lisbon & a pierced Santa Claus

Already in October Lisbon is busy decorating the streets and the trees with lots of Christmas lights. The windows of the shops are dressed up with Christmas decorations, and some are quite remarkable!  Portuguese creativity in Lisbon’s commercial heart 🙂

Lisbon Christmas window dressing Largo do Chiado

Christmas window dressing at Largo do Chiado

Elegant shopping district, close to luxury hotel Bairro Alto and Lisbon’s famous nightlife:  possibly one of the best spots in Europe for a night out!

Lisbon window dressing Christmas time Rua da Prata

Traditional Christmas window dressing  Rua da Prata

Lisbon remarkable Christmas window dressing penis piercings Santa Claus

In the same street, Rua da Prata 88, a pierced Santa Claus

TRIPARTE TATTOO – Body Piercing – Tattoo shop Rua da Prata, 88-90 Baixa, Lisboa

Christmas shopping Lisbon window Hermes

Hermés in December, they love ‘animal window dressing’, Largo do Chiado 9, Lisbon

Lisbon Christmas window dressing Biaxa

Baixa area
Lisbon remarkable Christmas window dressing stars wearing glasses

Rua do Carmo (2010)

Did you ever see stars in the sky wearing glasses ? This street is close to the famous tourist attraction ‘Santa Justa elevator’ (Elevador de Santa Justa) and my favorite square in Lisbon : Praça do Carmo

Lisbon remarkable window dressing Christams reindeer recommend sexual desire product

Rua da Madalena, a reindeer in the window is placed in front of a poster ‘ how to increase your sexual desire’ : ‘Libidosil‘ (2010)

..more about this remarkable street….

Remarkable window dressing Lisbon Alfama butcher shop

 Alfama, Rua dos Remediostalho (butcher) do Chafariz

Even de butchers decorate their shops for Christmas… 😉

Remarkable window dressing Lisbon hearing aid

…Hearing Aid shop & new batteries (pilhas 5 euro)

Christmas time in Lisbon tram decorations

Besides: Jingle bells! Even trams (Eletrico Natal) are decorated with lights and steered by Santa Claus himself!

Christmas time in Lisbon Tram and Santa Claus conductur

‘Boas Festas e Feliz Natal’ (Merry Christmas and happy New Year!), Praça da Figueira, more about this area……..