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Getting Ready for New Year’s Eve in Brazil

Jumping waves on New Year's Eve

Getting Ready for New Year’s Eve in Brazil

Estevao Arato

There are many traditions and habits among Brazilians to prepare for a new year and I am going to explain some of them. I think by far the most traditional, independently of economic or racial background is to wear white on New Year’s Eve; it means peace and a good way to start a new year and most Brazilians are wearing that color.

Jumping 7 waves at midnight for the lucky ones who are at the beach is also a very traditional way of starting the New Year; wearing white of course and making a wish during each wave.

Most Brazilians will eat fish on New Year’s Eve because it is a belief that it brings good luck, unlike birds (chickens, turkeys) because they scratch backwards and it would mean going “back” instead of forward for the new year. 

In order to attract wealth, putting a big bill inside the right shoe before midnight and keeping it until the morning of New Year’s Day is also very popular and lots of Brazilians do it.

Furthermore, some people also eat 7 grapes at midnight because it is a belief that this attracts fortune.

One thing is for sure – we will observe at least a couple of these traditions to start the New Year.

Boldog Új Évet!

Estevao Arato, son of Hungarian immigrant parents, was born in São Paolo where he was a journalist.  He came to the US in 1996 and now works in the hospitality/restaurant business. He attends the Hungarian School sponsored by Magyar Studies of America in Fairfield, CT.


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