It is important to plan your travel with knowledge of local holidays or you might find yourself unable to buy food or eat at restaurants. I’ve written about adjusting to local schedules, but local holiday knowledge is important too.
As usual ChatGPT has some decent advice – stick to the tourist areas and you will be alright. Especially during holidays.
It is important to note that the way that Christmas is celebrated can vary from place to place, and can also be influenced by local traditions, cultural practices, and government regulations. In some places, public places and private restaurants may be open during the Christmas holiday period, while in other places they may be closed or have limited hours.
For example, in Portugal, it is common for many businesses to close on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). However, some restaurants and other businesses may be open on these days, especially in tourist areas. It is always a good idea to check with individual businesses to find out their hours of operation during the holiday period.
In Portugal, Christmas is a time for families to come together and celebrate. Many people attend church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and it is common to exchange gifts with loved ones. Christmas Eve is usually the main celebration, with a traditional dinner called “Consoada” that typically includes cod, boiled potatoes, and vegetables. Some people also celebrate by setting up a nativity scene, known as a “presépio,” in their homes.
One of the most popular Christmas traditions in Portugal is the “Papai Noel,” or Santa Claus, who is thought to bring gifts to children on Christmas Eve. In addition to Santa, there are also other traditional figures associated with Christmas in Portugal, such as the “Zé Natal,” a character who is similar to Father Christmas, and the “Mãe Natal,” or Mother Christmas, who is similar to Mrs. Claus.
Other traditional Christmas activities in Portugal include carol singing and dancing, and it is also common to decorate homes and streets with Christmas lights and other decorations. Overall, Christmas in Portugal is a time for celebrating with loved ones, enjoying delicious food, and participating in a variety of festive activities.
Phrase of the Day:
There are a number of holiday phrases that are commonly used in Japan during the holiday season. Here are a few examples:
- “Merii Kurisumasu” (メリークリスマス) – This is the Japanese way of saying “Merry Christmas.”
- “Shinnen omedetou” (新年おめでとう) – This means “Happy New Year.” It is commonly used to greet someone during the New Year period.
- “Tanoshii Kurisumasu o” (楽しいクリスマスを) – This means “Have a happy Christmas.”
- “Akemashite omedetou” (あけましておめでとう) – This means “Happy New Year.” It is often used to greet someone on New Year’s Day.
- “Yoi otoshi o” (よいお年を) – This means “Have a good year.” It is used to wish someone a happy and prosperous new year.