Updated on Nov.29, 2012
During two months, Gramado, in Rio Grande do Sul, plunges wholeheartedly into the holiday spirit.
The top attractions in Christmas of Light (Nov.1, 2012-Jan.13, 2013), or Natal Luz, are either free or affordable (click on ticket icon on each page listed for prices). Kids 3 years old and up do pay full price (seniors pay half).
Select your favorite paid attractions and enjoy the freebies, such as the Tree Lighting Show, while exploring the evergreen appeal of this fantastic destination in southern Brazil.
Tickets can be bought at the Central Ticket Office (Bilheteria Central).
Pirotecnics, dancing waters, fire and music create a stunning display in Nativitaten, held at Lake Joaquina Rita Bier. Lyric singers lead the show, a journey through the history of mankind which includes the creation of the world, darkness and salvation, with the birth of Jesus.
The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and it gets chilly around the lake, so bring a jacket.
Duration: 50 minutes. Arrive at least 30 minutes in advance.
2. The Fantastic Christmas Factory
A child who's taken by an angel to Santa Claus' factory is the theme of the Fantastic Christmas Factory, a musical in five acts in which cookies, candy canes and toys come to life. More than 40 people are cast in the production.
The show takes place at Carrieri, on the route to Gramado's Black Lake (Lago Negro), which will be clearly signaled.
Go to the Natal Luz website for more information, prices and schedule (Programação).
Duration: 50 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes prior to start of show.
3. Grand Christmas Parade
One of the top favorite events for people of all ages in Natal Luz, the Grand Christmas Parade features skating angels, a nativity scene, puppets, snow queens, Christmas trees and other characters who follow Santa Claus and his sleigh.
The parade follows Gramado's Avenida das Hortênsias, or the Hydrangea Road, always starting at 9:30 p.m. More than 200 people participate in the event, which is a model of volunteer involvement on the part of Gramado locals.
Duration: 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes prior to start of parade.
4. Singing Tree
Rua Coberta, a charming covered street with shops and restaurants, becomes a haven of holiday cheer during Christmas of Light, when carolers bring a towering Christmas tree to life.
Duration: 45 minutes. Arrive 20 minutes prior to presentation.
5. Lighting Show
Every evening at 9 p.m., the 8-meter tall Christmas tree at the intersection of Rótula Borges and Hydrangea Road is lit simultaneously with all the other lights in Natal Luz, to a light and music show.
6. A Country Christmas
Natal Campeiro, an attraction which depends more than the others on fluency in Portuguese, is still enjoyable in any language due to the music and the play's setting in a typical gaúcho home in the Rio Grande do Sul pampas.
Producer Luís Felipe Araújo says that the musical, which tells of a kid's anticipation of Christmas, aims at evoking the joys of the season with the most specific and peculiar details of authentic culture of Brazil's deep South.
7. Reindeer Exhibit
This season, 12 decorated, life-size reindeer created by different artists are on display on Rua Pedro Benetti, in central Gramado.
8. Christmas Concerts
Rua Coberta, in central Gramado, will be the venue for a series of Christmas concerts with the Gramado Orchestra.
Gramado business owners pull out all the stops for Tannenbaumfest. Each participating business decorates a Christmas tree on Avenida Borges de Medeiros, Gramado's main avenue, in an event that has a lead soldier band making spirits bright.
10. Nutcracker Street
On Avenida das Hortênsias (between Rua São Pedro and Avenida Borges de Medeiros), people-sized nutcrackers will be on display from Nov.25, 2011 to Jan.15, 2012.
11. Christmas Village
Christmas food and crafts, a merry-go-round, craft workshops, a steam engine and canopy walking are some of the attractions at the Christmas Village, located by the Joaquina Rita Bier Lake. Santa Claus visits every evening, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
12. Christmas of Light Tour
Every day for the duration of Christmas of Light 2011, a dindinho, or a bus that looks like a street car, will take a Tour of Natal Luz.
The vehicle leaves from downtown Gramado (in front of Palácio dos Festivais) and passes places that have Christmas of Light attractions and decorations, such as the São Pedro Church, Rua Coberta, Avenida Borges de Medeiros, Hydrangea Avenue, Lake Joaquina Rita Bier, Carriérie and Communications Square.
Departures in 2012 are at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 5 p.m.