24.12.2006 - 24.12.2006 31 °C
Well, it is time for me to say Feliz Natal to everybody who has been reading this blog for the past month and a half!
Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is where I will be spending Christmas.
I arrived in Olinda at six o' clock yesterday evening, and suddenly realised it was Saturday... and that today was Sunday, and that all the shops would be closed! So I had two hours to get everything for my Christmas dinner before the local supermarket closed!
I am staying in the Albergue de Olinda, in an old colonial building near the historic centre of Olinda, a small city just north of Recife, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Christmas day I will be making pancakes! Cheap and cheerful. With lime and sugar. (They were a big success in Salvador.)
So what is Christmas like in Brazil? Well, thankfully, it only lasts for one day (the 25th.) People don't stay in with their families, but go to the city centre to celebrate and dance (I will probably go to the historic centre of Recife the night of the 25th.)
An ice-skating rink? But we're in Brazil!!! Christmas gone wrong in a shopping centre in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo.
Fake snow factories must be making lots of money in Brazil, because half the country seems to be covered in white fluff! Most of Christmas seems to be imported (from America.) A friend of mine in Salvador told me that there used to be Brazilian Christmas traditions, but that they disappeared long ago. He remembers his grandmother putting pitanga leaves (pitanga is a tropical fruit) on all the floors of the house at Christmas. If you walked on the leaves, they would release a Christmas-like scent, and the whole house would be perfumated. But he says nobody does this anymore... (In honour of this tradition I bought loads of pitanga juice in the supermarket yesterday!)
Well, a Merry Christmas from Olinda to everyone who has been reading this blog. And thank you, for showing an interest! It really means a lot to me that so many friends and family all over the world can follow my trip this way! And if you are bored during Christmas, check back!