Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories · Heritage

Advent Calendar: A Blending of Portuguese Hawaiian Traditions

My Portuguese family was originally from Sao Miguel Island, Azores.  They brought with them many Portuguese traditions including setting up a creche (nativity scene).  I am told that my Great Great Aunt had the original from the Azores and brought it from Hawaii to California.

They arrived on Hawaiian shores in 1882.  There they spent 20+ years.  Their culture mixed with the many different cultures that made up Hawaii during the sugar plantation era.

I am told that family holiday celebrations started with Midnight Mass at the local Catholic Church.  Then the family came home to eat and open presents.

From there things got wild.  The men would don Hawaiian shirts and bring out the ukuleles.  Holiday music blended with Hawaiian and Portuguese songs. The party would become festive with Hawaiian and Portuguese elements mixing together.  Sometimes bringing in a bit of the Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese roots that mixed with my tree.

I think it was have been neat to have these family celebrations on film.  I would love to have seen how those serious Catholics broke out and had a good time.  LOL

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