How To Blend Among Locals When Spending The New Year In Brazil

Visiting Brazil is a great experience all year round, but the country is among the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Since the Brazilian summer starts in December, planning something on the beach is a good decision. In order to enjoy the holiday to the fullest (so-called Reveillon in the countryside), travelers should be aware that Brazilians can be superstitious people, and they tend to think that the way they spend the last day of the year and the first minutes after midnight represents the ones to come can affect months.


For example, jesters carefully choose the color they wear and what they eat. It is interesting to see that almost every family carries their rituals for a successful year and they are always ready to teach visitors. Here’s an essential guide to mixing with Brazilians while on vacation.

Each color has a meaning

The first thing anyone will notice when spending New Year’s Eve in Brazil is that most people wear white. This tradition is associated with Afro religions and became popular in the country in the 1970s, including among adherents of other faiths.

For Brazilians, the color signifies peace and will attract happiness for the next twelve months. Therefore, most stores display white clothing in December, but it’s not the only color that matters.

In Brazil, people wisely choose the color they wear for New Year’s Eve based on their needs. Brazilians are unlikely to wear black as it can bring bad luck – these rules apply to underwear too.

  • pink: Love
  • Red: dedication
  • Yellow or Gold: money
  • Green: Hope

Avoid dishes that bring bad luck

Even the most skeptical person in Brazil could have their traditions for New Year’s Eve. The evening menu is also based on their superstitions, and the main courses are often pork and fish.

Brazilians explain that these animals “move forward”, which is why they are considered a symbol of good luck.

On the other hand, most people avoid eating chicken or turkey because these animals walk backwards, which is a step backwards in life.

But what else can you eat? They also believe that eating grapes, pomegranate seeds, and lentils can attract happiness and abundance.

Choose a spot on the beach

Of course, travelers can find parties everywhere, but the most popular place on New Year’s Eve in Brazil is the beach. Luckily, the country has a coastline that stretches for 5,000 miles, and the Brazilian summer begins in December.

Brazil’s most famous beach, Copacabana, welcomes around three million people. Nevertheless, many Brazilians are drawn to the Northeast, where they can find paradisiacal beaches and parties.

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It’s unique to see people partying on the beach while following little rituals for a great year.

Take part in the Réveillon rituals

Needless to say, Brazilians are superstitious people. The last day of the year has great meaning and they firmly believe that how they spend those final hours and what they do at midnight can determine their future.

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What needs to be done may not seem obvious at first, but residents are generally enthusiastic about sharing the details with visitors.

Bath: The last bath of the year should be special and many people use lavender on the water as it has good energy. People can also use rue or coarse salt.

Jump seven waves: When travelers spend New Year’s Eve at the beach, travelers may notice that some people enter the water at midnight. It’s a tradition to jump seven waves and make a wish each time. The little ritual also cleans bad energies.

Send gifts to Iemanjá: At midnight, People on the beach also throw white roses into the sea. It is a way of honoring Iamanjá, known as the sea goddess in Afro religions. It is also common to see people sending replica boats with perfume and mirrors to Iemanjá.

Pomegranate Seeds: If you eat pomegranates at midnight, you keep seven seeds and carry them in your wallet. It is believed to attract money.

Eat twelve grapes: According to Brazilian tradition, eating 12 grapes at midnight increases the chances of a successful year. People also carry the seeds in their wallets to attract money.

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Wear something new: Most Brazilians wear brand new clothes for New Year’s Eve. They believe this tradition means renewal for the coming year.

The Réveillon parties can last a week

Brazilians are as superstitious as they like to party. The New Year’s Eve parties begin the day after Christmas and last until January 2nd. The best are on secluded beaches that most visitors have not heard of.

The most popular travel destinations are in northeastern Brazil, which is home to some of the most incredible beaches in the country.

The best places to look for parties are Bahia (Boipeba, Trancoso, Itacaré), Alagoas (São Miguel dos Milagres), Rio Grande do Norte (Pipa and São Miguel do Gostoso).

The parties are often open bar and last until sunrise, and travelers must be prepared to last a full week. They start selling tickets in June or July.

Although they tend to be expensive, the dollar in the country is currently much stronger, making it a worthwhile investment.

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