Though there’s not much tradition of Christmas markets in Portugal, I love them. The smell of warm wine or hot chocolate, the stands with Christmas gifts and traditional seasonal foods bring me lovely memories. Unfortunately, that’s not part of the Portuguese Christmas tradition; but times change. And for the first time this year, up to January 6, there is a Christmas village in the center of Lisbon, inside Parque Eduardo VII.
Parts of this village try to mimic the ancient Nazareth, where you can see citizens working in several crafts, such as baking, smiting, carpentry and pet plenty of farm animals such as donkeys, cows and sheep. There’s also a tent for the Three Wise Men with real camels! The day right after Christmas it is even possible to see a live nativity play.
Obviously, the theme of Santa Claus will be present. And his leprechauns have a house too. It is possible to sit on Santa’s sledge and leave a letter in his mailbox. As you can tell, animals are an import theme in this village, which kids usually love, so one of the stables has reindeers – naturally! And Santa walks them around in a parade once a day.