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Brazilian Reveillon Traditions, Part II Posted by on Dec 30, 2010 in Customs, Holidays, Vocabulary

Yesterday I wrote a post on Brazilian traditions on what to wear for the New Year.  I also mentioned how we have all sorts of superstitions and that I would share that with you all today!  For many Brazilians, what you wear, eat, drink and do at midnight or around that time, determine how your next year is going to be.  I’m not usually a very superstitious person, but this year’s New Year’s party is going to be na minha casa, and I like to play around with these kinds of traditions.  So here goes the rest of the tradições e simpatias do reveillon brasileiro:

O que comer:

– Lentilhas, or lentils, are eaten in various forms (soup, sala, with rice & meat) in order for your next year to be financially successful!!

Carne de Porco – It’s uncommon for anyone to eat any poultry on new year’s eve here because chickens & turkeys kick back their legs to walk and pigs walk forward.  This is simbolic of the way the year will be – walking forward or moving backwards!

Uvas & Romã – Eating grapes or pomegranate right after midnight and keeping 12 seeds and putting them in your wallet.  This also attracts more $$!

O que beber:

– Champagne & Vinho – Like with eating grapes, champagne and wine are made of grapes, so why not, right?!

O que fazer:

Limpar a casa – Cleaning your home, taking out and donating all things you don’t use, and are overall superfluous is a good way to start the new year with no bad energy.  Catholics will also sometimes sprinkle holy water on doors and/or door handles.  Oh, change your sheets too!


– Pular Ondas – A tradition that stems from Candomblé and Umbanda, African inspired religions, if you’re at the beach, many will jump over 7 waves and make a wish on each hop for the year to come.  This is supposed to bring good vibrations your way all year long!

Poem o pé direito no chão – Another superstitions actually quite literal.  At midnight, if you lift your left foot, you start the year off on the right foot 😉 . This is usually done with a glass of champagne in hand and hopping 3 times.  Hopping up a step on just your right foot also gives you a leg up!! (ok, I’ll stop with the cheesiness now)

I’m sure there are more I haven’t listed, but these are the most common ones I’ve heard of (or tried!).  Can you think of any others?  Do you think you’ll try out some Brazilian traditions to bring you luck in 2011?

Hope you all have a Feliz Ano Novo!

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  1. Francis:

    Very interesting! In the southern US a common dish for New Years Day is called “Hoppin Johns”. The recipies may vary, but the main ingredient is black-eyed peas. It is thought to bring prosperity for the new year. My mom always makes some on New Years Day, even though all are family lives in the northeast US. I like the idea of going for a swim on New Years Day, but that’s quite impossible this time of year in the northeast US!