From Brazil with love – New Year´s Eve (Brazilian version)

Aline Leitao studied and lived in Barcelona some time ago. She is a young citizen of the world who is going to write about different experiences in the Latin American country that is currently growing and developing in an awesome way: Brazil.


White clothes, shirtless Santa and the beach

Photo by Auro Queiroz.

And so it’s finally December, I personally love this month because it’s my birthday and because it means that another year has ended and a new one, with a new cycle and new surprises, is just around the corner. I love how the streets are decorated with many tiny shiny Christmas lights and the summer feeling that inspires every Brazilian.

I know that there is a big difference with celebrations in Europe: our Christmas is hot, but we can even find some version of a shirtless Santa, wearing a bathing suit. I have spent most of my new year´s eves on the beach, barefoot and accomplishing each possible Brazilian superstition for a better new year. According to our beliefs, the beach is the best place to spend the night, as it has a special energy that unloads you from every bad feeling you’ve got and then reloads you with relief and good energy.

My country is mostly Catholic, but we also have many other religions that were brought to us by the different nations that colonized Brazil and consequently influenced what was here first and helped to build a nation with such a rich culture. The strongest influences are in the north, brought by African slaves to the spot where everything started. It got mixed up with some native habits (they even married each other) so its pretty hard to certainly define the origin of each new year´s superstition we practice. Therefore, I´ll describe some of them and if you have the opportunity to try them, I can assure you that it just brings some more fun and hope to such a special night. Here you have them:

-A white outfit: The most common and most respected of all practices is to wear a white outfit to celebrate New Year´s Eve. White means peace and peace is one of the most necessary things for a good life.

-Colorful underwear: Well, once peace is already achieved, now it´s time to go for your second biggest wish of the year… so the colour of your underwear will give you a lift. To have a new year full of passion, wear something red; to find love, wear something pink; to have more money go for yellow and if you can´t pick just one, chose white again and let peaceful energy lead your year and find what is best for you.

-The sea: If you have the opportunity of spending this night at the beach DO NOT hesitate about getting into the sea at midnight and jumping over seven waves. Each wave means a wish, so do not forget to have each one in your mind with every jump.

-To get lucky: eating lentils at New Year´s feast brings luck.

-Having money all over the year: eat the pulp of seven pomegranate seeds and keep what is left. Than fold it into a napkin and keep it in your wallet for the whole next year.

Well, maybe readers are now wondering how crazy Brazilian people are, but behind it all there is the most special ingredient for a better year! We always hope that things will get better and some small gestures like the ones mentioned above are perfect excuses to dedicate a few minutes to our inner selves and hope we can get it all.

Have a great 2012!

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