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Christmas in Mouraria

Traditional Hindu costume

The tradition remains the same in Mouraria and in many homes Christmas eve was celebrated with boiled cod with potatoes, cabbage and boiled egg and turkey today, accompanied by traditional Christmas sweets such as rabanadas (fried bread with sugar), dreams and king’s cake.

But Mouraria is a melting pot and not everyone celebrate Christmas, as it is a tradition of Christian religion. Do the Chinese, Indians or Pakistanis celebrate Christmas?

Chinese society does not share the same religion (most follow Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism) and Christmas is something they know by Western propaganda, but do not fully understand. A small minority is Christian and celebrating Christmas may be special, but it is a minority.

So what they celebrate?
The biggest celebration happens at the end of the year, with the celebration of Chinese New Year, which marks the end of January. Children receive clothes and toys and are served special dishes.

The Islamic community does not celebrate Christmas and the date is ignored by Pakistanis, even those who have chosen Mouraria to live. Ali, one of the employees of the grocery store on Rua de S. Cristóvão, explains that they have other traditions to celebrate at other times of the year.

So what they celebrate?
One of the most important celebrations took place on 28 July, when the Martim Moniz square celebrated “Eid-ul-Fitr”, the party that lasts three days and marks the end of the month of Ramadan fasting period. They served a banquet, exchanged gifts and wear new clothes.

With a population in its majority Hindu and Muslim, Christmas is not celebrated officially. The pine is replaced by the mango tree and banana trees, which are adorned. At Christmas decoration, the clay lamps lit with oil are widely used.

So what they celebrate?
The main celebrations are the Durga Puja, Dasara, Ganesh Puja, Rama Navami, Krishna Janmashtami, Diwali, Holi and Baishakhi, celebrations related to energy, dancing and singing and the Divine energy is at the center of everything.

Castle of Mouraria, Portugal