It’s that time of year, time to ring in 2017! As you make your preparations to celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world, you may have some traditions you practice or even some superstitions.  I visited Rio de Janeiro a few years ago and experienced some of the Brazilian New Year’s Eve traditions.

Brazilian New Year's Eve - spectators on Copacabana beach
Waiting for the strike of Midnight at Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

I had the privilege of attending the famous Copacabana Beach New Year’s Eve party while I was there. To this very day, I can’t replicate the feeling of standing on a famous and warm beach, sand between my toes, surrounded by about 3 million people with our bottle of champagne, all while watching the ships in the middle of the bay being lit up by the explosions of fireworks at the strike of midnight.

Rio lights along Copacabana Beach

For Brazilian New Year’s Eve, it’s a tradition to wear white. And yes, we decked ourselves out in our best white outfits! Well, by “best,” I mean the white t-shirt I had in my backpack. It was all I had. But it met the standard, so everything was cool

Brazilian New Year's Eve - Fireworks on Copacabana beach
New Year’s Eve! Strike at Midnight!

Brazilian New Year’s Eve traditions

My coworker, Jose Neto, is a native of Brazil. We were chatting about the subject and I asked him to tell me a bit about Brazilian New Year’s Eve traditions. Hopefully, you might find one or two interesting enough to include in your own celebrations this weekend.

Neto:

In Brazil, the New Year’s Eve celebration, called Reveillon, is one of the most important dates in the year. It’s the time to reflect upon the past, and make new resolutions for the coming year. Brazilian’s have many superstitions to start the New Year the right way!

Below I have outlined a few tips Brazilian’s practice. Maybe you can try some – you never know, they might work! First things first, you have to choose a white outfit for the night and it must be brand new. Wearing white will guarantee peace throughout the coming year. All dressed up? Good! Now here are a few tips about our (Brazilian) traditions. Maybe give one or two a try!

  • If you are at the beach when midnight comes around, you must jump 7 waves and throw white flowers on the beach to start the New Year with luck, happiness and prosperity. This is why Brazilians always prefer to spend New Year’s Eve at the beach.
  • The most common superstition is wearing colors with different meanings. Wearing white is essential, however undergarments can include color. Brazilians normally choose the color of their underwear to attract what they want.
    • Yellow = money and prosperity
    • Pink = love
    • Red = passion
    • Blue = harmony
    • Orange = professional success
    • Green = health
    • Purple = inspiration.
  • Eating pomegranate brings wealth. You have to eat seven little seeds and keep the seeds in your wallet during the turn of the year.
  • It is not recommended to eat poultry, such as turkey or chicken, as these animals walk backwards or “regress in life”.
  • Keeping a bay leaf in your wallet and eating lentils brings you luck.
  • Always spend Reveillon with pockets full of money, so that you can continue the rest of the New Year the same way.
  • To ignite a new love, always greet the object of your affection after the countdown at midnight.
  • If you’d like to travel a lot in the New Year, grab an empty suitcase and walk around your house.
  • To start the New Year off on the “right foot”, do the countdown on a higher surface and step down with the right foot in the New Year.
Brazilian New Year's Eve - always wear white
Wearing white for New Year’s Eve: a Carioca tradition

Happy New Year Everyone!

Will you ring in New Year with any type of traditions or superstitions?

Have you attended a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration while traveling?

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Halef moved from Indonesia to the US nearly two decades ago to go to college here. He hasn’t looked back. He’s been to over forty countries and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He’s a Landscape Architect in Atlanta, GA.


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