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New Year’s Eve in Brazil

July 01, 2018
Sunrise on a Brazilian island.

Brazilian Customs to Welcome the New Year

New Year's Eve is a very special occasion and is considered by many as the night of all nights. Often, preparations will be made weeks or even months in advance. Some go to a public New Year's Eve party, while others arrange a private party with their friends. In any case, it is guaranteed to be special. That's why many people associate the New Year with a trip to a foreign city. New Orleans, Las Vegas or Chicago are popular destinations. However, few people have a trip to Brazil on their list. A New Year's Eve celebration in Rio de Janeiro, for example, has a lot to offer. Tropical climate instead of bitterly cold weather in many regions of the United States, shorts instead of a winter jacket and caipirinhas instead of mulled wine are all advantages of spending this joyous occasion in Brazil. Brazilians are known for their exuberant party mood, and not just during Carnival. On New Year's Eve in Rio, half the city convenes at the beach to celebrate the New Year with some of the most impressive fireworks in the world.

But of course, everything happens a little bit differently in Brazil than in the United States. Brazilians have their own customs. Here is an introductory overview:

  • First things first: On New Year's Eve, wear white as it stands for purity and peace. Don't worry if you don't have white-colored clothes in your luggage. New Year's outfits have to be brand new anyway, so that they can have full effect. So it's a good thing that, on the days before New Year's Eve in Brazil, white-colored clothes are available on every street corner. At least retailers are guaranteed plenty of business.
  • When it comes to underwear, Brazilians are a little more flexible on New Year's Eve. Panties and boxers can be a bit more colorful. You should choose the color of your underwear carefully, depending on what you want most in the new year. Each color has its own meaning. Red stands for love, green for hope, and if you want a raise or to win the lottery, wear yellow. While it is a fun tradition, what actually happens in the new year when you wear multi-colored underpants remains unclear.
  • Since Brazil has almost 4,970 miles (8,000 kilometers) of coastline, along which almost all major cities are located, the probability is quite high that you will find yourself on the beach during your trip. If you want to be on the safe side, you should definitely go in the ocean on New Year's Eve and jump over seven rolling waves. The best way is with the right leg first. That brings luck!
  • For the New Year, the sea goddess Yemanjá is traditionally worshipped. Among other things, small boats filled with flowers are released into the ocean. Yemanjá is probably the most famous orixá of Candomblé, a Brazilian religion that has its origins in Africa and is particularly popular in the Northeast of Brazil.
  • As in the United States, Brazilians have a special festive feast, which in this case includes lentil stew. Lentils are a symbol of personal growth, as they swell up in the water. Any kind of poultry, such as chicken, duck or turkey is taboo on New Year's Eve. This is because birds are capable of walking backward, which is not very popular when entering a new year.

A new year has begun. New resolutions, dreams and adventures await us. Start dreaming of your next vacation in Brazil. It is never too early to begin preparations for New Year’s Eve, as it always comes as a surprise every year.

In this spirit, the Aventura do Brasil team wishes you an exciting and adventurous year!

Source: Aventura do Brasil