This was the first Christmas I spent away from home. It was a bit difficult, especially because I got into a fight with the guys who were staying in the hostel. But I talked to my family and my friends on Skype, I watched many Christmas movies and there wasn`t much work to do in the hostel. I overpassed some tough moments, so I`m proud of myself!
It`s hard to get into the Christmas spirit in a warm climate. I always connected Christmas with cold weather: snow, Christmas trees, mould wine and staying indoors away from the cold. In Brasil you can`t have a real Christmas tree, for example, you can`t drink mould wine `cause it`s too hot, you can`t play in the snow because there isn`t any.
Even on the streets it`s hard to feel the holiday atmosphere. There aren`t any Christmas lights on the streets and very few stores, restaurants, bars or cafes are decorated. On the other side, most churches have Christmas trees and scenes of the birth of Christ, but they are usually inside. The important buildings in the center, like banks or museums , are also decorated.
The most “Christmassy” thing about Rio is the Christmas tree floating in the middle of Lagoa. The lights change every few seconds. The tree looks great even during the day, especially if you are standing on one of the picks in Rio and you can see the entire lake and its surroundings. Of course, it`s best if you can see it in the night when it`s lighted. My camera wasn`t able to capture all the lights, but I think the pictures can give an idea about the atmosphere.
And there are the malls that are the same everywhere, so the decorations here look very occidental, it almost makes you forget where you are.
In conclusion, Christmas in Brazil is not a big deal. The supermarkets are opened, as well as all the bars and restaurants, on the 24th and the 25th. Most families have a Christmas dinner on the 24th and maybe a barbeque on the 25th.
I can`t say it was a bad Christmas, it was a different experience and this is what I came here for.