By : Tan Li Ying (Merissa)
If you have picked up the language before, you would have noticed that the title to this article is in Portuguese; if you haven’t, can you guess what it says? Well, Feliz Ano Novo, is in fact Happy New Year in Brazilian Portuguese!
With the first month of 2016 drawing to a close, I shall bring you on an exciting journey to discover what it’s like celebrating New Year’s Day in Brazil, the home of the world’s biggest and most celebrated carnivals! We’ll explore the most common (and probably weirdest) traditions that they have, and hopefully by the end of this article, you will know everything you need to have the time of your life on New Year’s Eve at Rio de Janeiro!
- A very spiritual thing based on the past, a major part of New Year’s Eve traditions in Brazil is to appease the Goddess of Seas, Yemanjá. On this night, you will see thousands of Brazilians by the beach, lighting candles and throwing white flowers into the sea, in the hope that she will grant them their requests for the coming year. There are some that make small wooden boats to put in bouquets of flowers as well as female vanity goods such as perfume and makeup. They say if the offerings were sent back, they were not accepted; but do not despair, you can always try again next year!
- Next on the list – your outfit! The tradition on clothes for anyone coming in for New Year’s Eve in Rio is to wear white colour garments, which symbolize good luck for the next year. Although not a mandatory dress code, it’s still best to embrace this tradition if you want to experience the New Year’s the Brazilian way! Besides that, absolutely DO NOT wear black, or you will be doomed throughout the upcoming year!
- Food is everything in New Year’s Eve in Rio, the Brazilians are very particular about what they eat on this night to ensure a prosperous year ahead! Dinner after fireworks displays will serve Brazilian cultural dishes such as lentils and rice which are believed to bring good luck. Little tip if you want to be well-off in the year ahead – Eat 7 pieces of raisins before midnight and keep the seeds in your wallet, apparently that makes sure you have money in your wallet all the time! 😉
- While making your New Year’s wishes, a way to increase your chances of making these wishes possible is to jump over 7 different waves while making them, one for each wave. If you want to increase your luck in romantic affairs, make sure the first person that you greet when New Year comes is someone of the opposite sex! 😛
After all these tips on what to do, you might be wondering, where can you go for the best New Year’s celebration in Brazil? In Rio, the biggest celebration is on Copacabana beach, where there will be massive fireworks displays at midnight that lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. With these traditions in mind and a bottle of champagne in hand, you will definitely have the most exciting and exhilarating New Year’s celebration along with thousands of people on the beautiful beaches of Brazil! In true Brazilian spirit, Revellion!