Wednesday, January 02, 2008

a hoopla to end the holiday season

this isn't a hoopla!

Kimananda tagged me to do this meme, or the new word for meme: a hoopla about the holidays. I have to be honest and say that I'm completely fed up with holidays and all the glitter everywhere. I'm very happy that we've entered the sober month of January - it even started raining, just to remind us that it's serious, January is for real!

But officially the holiday season only ends on the 6th of January, Kings' Day, so lets state 12 facts about the holidays over here in Portugal. The Hoopla had rules but since Kimananda changed them, I'll change them too. And I won't tag anyone, as I'm sure you're over the holidays just like I am.

1) Just like in Denmark, Christmas over here it's more about the 24th than the 25th, as the most important part of Christmas is DINNER.

2) There are a few selected dishes for Christmas dinner, but the most common is bacalhau cozido com todos - which means boiled salted-cod with lots of vegetables and plenty of olive oil. It's pretty good. Other dishes include: turkey or octopus, it depends from the region you live in and your family traditions.

3) Ah, don't forget to include red wine in the shopping list! After dinner, it's common to drink a glass of port wine.

4) For desserts, they're all pretty disgusting, if you ask me. LOL I don't like most of them. There's rabanadas (similar to french toast with cinnamon), some sweets made with pumpkins, bolo-rei (a cake with lots of dried and sugary fruit - pictured above), aletria (which is something equally disgusting I don't like to talk about). There's plenty of almonds, nuts, hazelnuts to nibble.

5) The king cake (bolo-rei) had two kinds of special objects inside: if you got one it meant that you had to pay for the cake next year, I think the other one meant good luck to you. Nowadays some of the cakes don't contain these anymore.

6) Christmas is all about the kids over here too. At least, in my family, everything is done for their enjoyment...even the wait until midnight to deliver the presents - it's all for their pleasure ;)

7) My family has grown quite considerably since I was little and now we only buy presents for the little kids, as getting stupid, useless things for more than 25 people seems silly.

8) On Christmas Day there is Christmas lunch, of course - it's still important and, as the day goes by, people just want to forget Christmas and move on. Or is it just me? ;)

9) Even though our climate is moderate compared to other European countries, people usually stay inside for the New Year's Eve. More recently, with the increase of fireworks shows all over, there are more crowds on the street.

10) Since the 31st is São Silvestre's day, there are special athletics races in the major towns. They always look like very slippery races to me because it is usually raining and our floors are slippery. lol

11) Usually people eat 12 raisins and ask for 12 wishes, one for each month of the coming year. And we drink bubbly, of course.

12) Superstitions include: standing on the top of a chair, jumping with your right foot forward, the raisins, many toasts and, of course, wear something blue (or at least something new) on the 1st day of the year.

And that's it. The holidays are over. Don't come back 'til December, okay?

7 comments:

dharmabum said...

oh thats very interesting, all the things u've mentioned. another thing i like about blogs is all that we get to learn about different parts of the world, and other cultures...

the desserts - they sound ok. the pic looks grand, wonder why u find them disgusting - i thought it is a strong word to use in the context of food :)

oh, and i am beginning to think buying all these presents is silly too..it only makes me more materialistic.

chrispito said...

Ew, I hate desserts in general, so I'm with you on this one, Devil! Your post was very funny!
I always see salted cod at my local grocers and have no idea how to prepare it. B is a health nut, BTW...is it healthy? LOL

For his family, we went through the flat and found something for everyone. Books, etc. Passes to the art gallery for his step-mom. Which gave me great pleasure as they always buy us tons of crap we never want or need.
I think that buying them food last year finally woke them up. Something gourmet you'd normally pass on...organic maple syrup. cheese. things like that. or maybe you eat gourmet all the time in Porto?

Happy Hogmany (as the Scots call it)
Yes, it's over now...as B reminded me: 'It's the 11th Day of Winter!'

Devil Mood said...

Dharmabum: Actually, the cake in the picture is the only thing I really like in the middle of all those desserts ;) It's nice and sweet.
Oh the cultural exchange is fantastic in blog-land!

Chrispito: You have salted cod there? That's great! Well, before you cook it, you have to keep it in water for a few days and then it grows and you can cook it like any other fish. It's a rich fish and the salt doesn't make it that healthy...but it's definitely tastier. :)
I think the New Year should be on the 21st of December, it would make more sense ehhe
I like the useful presents, so gourmet food sounds good and art passes wonderful too! You had brilliant ideas for presents!

madelyn said...

I would fly out to hang out with
you if you could promise a slice
of that cake;)

Happy newest year sweetie ~

:)

Niall said...

Salted Cod?..I'm affraid it would seem odd to me (stuffed Turkey!) (Not me, but the dish we traditionally eat on 25th)..but I love fish....where would I put the stuffing? (OK..I can hear what you're thinking!).

I remember your 'Kings Day ' post last year..you have taught me lots of things.

Niall said...

Salted Cod?..I'm affraid it would seem odd to me (stuffed Turkey!) (Not me, but the dish we traditionally eat on 25th)..but I love fish....where would I put the stuffing? (OK..I can hear what you're thinking!).

I remember your 'Kings Day ' post last year..you have taught me lots of things.

Devil Mood said...

Maddie: The cake is available all round the year, so I think I can guarantee that. Have the greatest year!

Niall: Honestly, if you had salted cod, you could never eat regular cod again. Believe me, I've tried the regular one...it's just fish. lol
I'm glad that I've told you about our traditional things :)