- 2007/12/22 Portuguese Settlement lights up for Christmas

The Portuguese Settlement here has again lived up to its proud tradition Ė houses and streets here have been magnificently lit and decorated for Christmas.

Said resident Veronica Lopez: "You may never find this many Christmas homes decorated for Christmas anywhere else in the country."

The Portuguese Settlement is a land reserve for those of Portuguese descent. Come Christmas, the houses, streets and shops in the area are virtually transformed into a fairyland at night.


Image: All you want for Xmas: Alvin Hendricks, 31, showing his one-year-old son Chad Victor Hendricks the snowman in his house porch. The snowman shares the space with Santa, a Christmas tree and a Nativity scene.
All you want for Xmas: Alvin Hendricks, 31, showing his one-year-old son Chad Victor Hendricks the snowman in his house porch. The snowman shares the space with Santa, a Christmas tree and a Nativity scene.



Lopez said the residents themselves decorated their homes and pooled their funds to light up their streets.

At nightfall, not only are the gaily-coloured lights switched on, Christmas carols are played from the porch of the homes to enhance the merry atmosphere.

Apart from the usual Christmas trees and blinking lights, "snowmen", huge Santa Clauses and mechanical reindeers are part of the decorations.


Image: Christmas cheer: Carollers singing festive songs as they visit homes in the settlement on Thursday night.
Christmas cheer: Carollers singing festive songs as they visit homes in the settlement on Thursday night.



The settlement's Regedor (headman) Peter Gomes said residents were good naturedly competing with each other to be the best-decorated house.

He also said many visitors, locals and tourists, stroll around the settlement to view the lights and take photographs.

Manuel Santa Maria, 61, and his wife who have lived in the settlement for 30 years took eight days to decorate the house and place 800 sets of Christmas lights in and outside their home.

Another resident, Rita Rozario, 57, said her nine children aged between 17 and 37 loved Christmas trees. So, she has four of them.

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