Christmas is just over and the countdown to 2011 begins! In Brazil there is no other time in which the mixture of Brazilian religiosity and religions is so evident. In this transitional moment, religions, rituals and superstitions blend: everything is good as long as it attracts the very best for the coming year.
Around here, we also made our countdown – under every number, you can find some elements of “traditional” habits of the New Year’s party in Brazil. Whether you believe in superstitions and follow them or not, you cannot forget one thing: to celebrate.
10 – Clothes for New Year’s Eve: The color of what you will be wearing at midnight is very important because it symbolizes what you wish for the next year. In Brazil, most people choose white, symbolizing peace and harmony. Red represents power and passion; yellow, money and prosperity; orange we choose for success; blue for harmony and peace and green for health, hope and balance.
9 – New Underwear: According to superstitions, wearing new underwear means luck in love, because it leaves the misunderstandings from the past behind. It’s recommended especially for those who have just started dating, to secure the future.
8 – Fruits: They have great importance in the New Year’s Eve Dinner. Mainly those that have many seeds are preferred, like pomegranate, grapes and apples, as they signify abundance. Pomegranates are especially suited to attract money (you should eat seven pieces and save the seeds in your wallet).
7 – Pork: The pig is always digging and walking forward and, therefore, is seen as an animal that brings prosperity. Furthermore, its high fat content is a sign of fullness and wealth. Birds should be avoided, especially on the first day of New Year, because they scratch back.
6 – Lentil: eating lentils for New Year’s dinner attracts luck – preferably with a banknote under the plate, in order to attract more money.
5- Seven waves: If you’re on the beach, be sure to jump over the first 7 waves of the year, making a mental wish while skipping. This habit has its roots in African traditions: it honors Iemanjá, the divinity (orixá) that protects the seas and children. Seven is indeed the number of kabbalah, which corresponds with Exú, the son of Iemanjá; the seven hops should help to “open the roads”.
4 – Fireworks: It wards off evil spirits. Their colorful and joyful noises give a special welcome to the New Year which is coming.
3 – Champagne: the drink symbolizes joy, abundance as well as celebration.
2 – Music: The melody and lyrics of this traditional song are simple – after hearing it once, it will be difficult to get it out of your mind.
1 – Happy New Year!