Christmas Supper Portuguese: From the Origin to the Tradition

It is always special wherever we are, but the Christmas supper Portuguese brings delights and traditions that are so special. Recognizes them?

Christmas Supper Portuguese From the Origin to the Tradition

The Christmas supper the Portuguese gathers the family around a table filled with other delights, the love, the smiles, confidence and sharing.

But how did this tradition which refers not only to the supper itself, but also to the delivery of gifts, as a demonstration of affection and friendship for people who are special?


The tradition of christmas came about in ancient Rome and is based on customs pre-christians: in December, during the festivals of homage to the god Saturn, in Rome, people traded among themselves, with offerings such as figurines or candles of wax.

It was from the sixteenth century. VII, and the Pope Boniface, that the christmas eve and the giving of gifts became a christian tradition, with the Pope himself to distribute bread among the people, and receiving gifts varied.

The feast of Christmas or call christmas, despite being so associated with a christian tradition, it is carried out today in almost all over the world and by many non-christians.

The dishes cooked are different and depend on the region where it is celebrated, but the goal is always the same: to unite the family around the dinner table to socialize and to celebrate a time of peace and love.


Today, the cod with potatoes and boiled cabbage is one of the traditional dishes of the Christmas meal in Portuguese, making also part of the tradition of the turkey, the roast lamb or octopus. For dessert there are many options: bread, cake, king cake, dried fruit, milk cream, French toast, dreams, filhoses, noodles, chocolates…

The traditional Portuguese cuisine is considered one of the most suggestive, and tasty, with a variety of recipes and regional ingredients that give it a colorful and taste unique.

Each region has its culinary traditions, and, at Christmas, the typical dishes of each region to gain a special prominence and importance, also for being a family party, which revive ancient customs.

The roast lamb is one of the dishes traditionally served, especially in the regions of the North and Beiras, in which the natural landscape of the region is conducive to the creation of this type of animals.

The cod and the octopus will continue to be the main actors, and there are lands that maintain their own traditions, such as the capon in Freamunde, the litão (a fish of the family of the shark) in Olhão, the lamb in the ribatejo and the sandwiches of meat marinated in wine and garlic in the Wood.


Christmas supper in the Portuguese tradition has it that if you eat cod with potatoes and cabbage cooked, drizzled with a good olive oil.

This tradition arose in the Middle Ages, with the christian calendar, where people were fasting at the time of the major festivals catholic: Christmas and easter.

As no one could eat flesh at these times, and cod was the fish cheaper, banalizou-if this custom. The tradition of fasting was disappearing, but the cod on the table at the Christmas meal in portugal is not something that may be lacking.


Already dreams with the table full of dreams, the filhoses, French toast, cakes, rice pudding, chocolates and the trunk with wires eggs? For many, Christmas is a season of doom at a table replete with good things that you rarely eat during the year.

To not make large exaggerations follow some tips to mitigate somewhat the effects of the foods of Christmas:

  • Consume less sweets and fried foods;
  • Reduce the amount of meat or fish consumed – instead of a turkey with four pounds, opt for one of three, for example;
  • Cut in carbohydrate (potatoes or rice), focusing on the consumption of vegetables;
  • Always have fruit available for dessert;
  • Opt for whole grain products;
  • Prefer roasts with a little fat;
  • Make sauteed in raw.