It’s the most wonderful time of the year alright. The weather in Lisbon is sh.t and only getting worse. The weekend curfews are proving to be counter-productive, at best, and yet word on the street is the government is likely to extend them… And everybody on the planet is frantically wondering: what comes next?
Still, the city of seven hills is glistening with magic and awe as it prepares for the holidays, and its resilient residents are full of merry and cheer (especially right around curfew time). So while you, in turn, hope for the best and prepare for the worst, check out our full calendar of events for stuff to do when not freaking out. Below are just a few magical goings-on* we found eye-catching, for this weekend, this coming week, and through December.
Guided tours at Hindu and Islamic centers, mediation sessions with Buddhists, food, music, workshops, games for all ages – all this and more make up Cultura na Rua’s Christmas is Here 2020 festival, happening all throughout the city until Dec. 23.
Beat the curfew this Saturday and/or Sunday and head to Xabregas for Arroz Éstudio’s Xmas Art Market and Brunch. There you’ll find art, food, music, and plenty of merry. Plus, they make a valid point: “We promote sustainability and local artists, and what better time than Christmas to put these values into practice?”
DANCE, ART, FILM:
This is the last week to check out InShadow, aka the Lisbon Screendance Festival, which “explores interdisciplinary atmospheres through aesthetic solutions and technical representation of body on screen, on stage and in other platforms.” It’s going on all around town and ends on Dec. 13.
Thomas Mendonça is a local artist who, in his own words, “died of emptiness” in 2020. The result is his solo painting exhibit, Daughters of Boredom, up in Mouraria through early 2021. It’s free.
Despite popular belief, Russia is more nice than naughty. And, this week, you don’t have to go there to see for yourself. Russian Film Week goes online for 2020, with contemporary feature/documentary/short films (streaming and on-demand) by modern-day Russians, plus masterclasses, Q&As, and more. It runs from Dec. 6 to Dec. 13.
Federico Fellini was born a century ago. Then he made some great films, becoming a world-renown artist, and died in 1993, leaving behind a legacy that lives on to this day. Federico also dabbled in music, collaborating for his films most frequently with friend and musician Nino Rota. This Sunday, Dec. 6, at 11h, the Lisbon Metropolitan Opera celebrates Fellini’s and Rota’s musical legacies with a series of live performances.
On Monday, Dec.7, 37-year-old indie rock band and self-proclaimed “pioneers of the independent music industry in Portugal” The Gift come to Campo Pequeno to share the gift of music with you. Tickets are still available.
Finally, Dec. 10th is Human Rights Day — everybody knows that. The humble and not-just-self-proclaimed “best band in Lisbon” wants to kill two birds with one stone, so they invite you for a magical live musical performance celebrating both human rights and Jesus with The Tourorists: X-Mas Party at the First Irish Pub in Lisbon, this Thursday, Dec. 10th, at 19h30, free of charge.
*Remember to double-check with the organizers directly on the day of any given event, as the world is full of wonder.
Be safe, and happy holidays!
The most popular girl’s name in Portugal remains Maria, and it’s again Francisco for boys.