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5 Brazilian New Year’s Eve Traditions and 2 Good Luck Cocktails

Do you have any special traditions centered around the arrival of the New Year?  Well, Brazilians do — and some of them might make you scratch your head. 🙂 To give you a glimpse of what you may encounter, I have listed 5 curious Brazilian New Year’s Eve Traditions and 2 good luck cocktails as a bonus. 🙂

Ready?  Here we go:

1. Celebrating New Year’s Eve preferably on the Beach

In Brazil beaches are strategic places to celebrate the night of New Year’s Eve. First of all, because they can accommodate the huge local and international crowd (we’re talking about millions of people) who gather to experience outdoor concerts, carnival dances, bars open 24-hours, and jaw-dropping fireworks.  Rio’s Copacabana Beach has the most famous New Year celebration!  Second, because beaches are where the Iemanjá ritual is performed.


2. Offerings to Iemanjá, the “Goddess of the Sea” and the “Mother of Waters”

Iemanjá is an African-Brazilian deity from the Candomblé and Umbanda religions. She is held to be the patron of fishermen and also of the survivors of shipwrecks, the spirit of moonlight, and the feminine principle of creation.


Photo: Creative Commons

lemanjá is portrayed as this gorgeous woman with long hair and white dress rising from the sea.  In the midst of New Year’s Eve, adherents throw white flowers, jewelry, rice, perfume, mirrors, and other gifts into the ocean, and send out floating candles onto the waves, as offerings to her.  It is believed that if your offerings are sent back, your wish will not be granted because she is not pleased with your offering(s).

3. Wearing White Clothing with Colorful Underwear

In Brazilian culture, all are expected to wear white attire to welcome the New Year, in order to attract peace and happiness.  But everyone can also add their own twist by wearing accent colors beneath the white clothing to represent New Year’s resolutions– such as orange for professional success, blue for harmony, yellow for prosperity, red or pink for romance, purple for inspiration, and green for health.

white attire

Photo: Creative Commons

4. Lucky Seven Rituals

Seven holds a special place in many of the different faith traditions of Brazil, and is considered a lucky number.

Among several rituals based on the lucky number seven are: eating 7 grapes for abundance– or chewing seven pomegranate seeds to ensure that your wallet will be full of money in the upcoming year.  It doesn’t stop there! One must jump over seven waves in the ocean, and for every wave you jump you make a wish for the New Year.

Pomegranate Caipirinha

5. Eating and Drinking the Right Stuff

You’ve got to eat the right foods in order to attract luck and abundance, such as rice, grapes, pomegranate seeds, and lentils. Of course, you’ve got to stay away from turkey and crab, unless you want a year full of bad luck. Choosing the right drinks is also important, too! Champagne and related cocktails at New Year’s will energize you the whole year long.

If you believe in good luck, prepare and celebrate the New Year’s Eve or Reveillón with one of these two good luck cocktails:

New Year Champagne Cocktail


Pomegranate Caipirinha


Good luck to you… and cheers to a prosperous New Year!

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35 Responses to 5 Brazilian New Year’s Eve Traditions and 2 Good Luck Cocktails

  1. Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine December 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    So fun and so interesting Denise! I love how each culture has it’s own way of welcoming in the new year.

    • Denise Browning December 30, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      Thanks, Chris! My people has their share of craziness too. 🙂 I have never done these stuff because I am not superstitious but I found these rituals quite curious. 🙂

  2. Lisa December 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi Denise

    I had the pleasure of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Brazil back in 2007. (San Sebastian)
    It was beautiful! What a memorable trip. I’m dying to go back!!!

  3. Lisa December 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi Denise

    I had the pleasure to experience New Year’s Eve in Brazil back in 2007.
    It was beautiful, amazing and I am dying to go back!!

    Happy New Year’s to you and your famly

    • Denise Browning December 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Hi, Lisa! I am glad that you had a great experience down there. I hope you can visit Brazil again and have a blast. Wishing a very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family!

  4. Deb|EastofEdenCooking December 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Oh how I adore the colorful under garment tradition! Such a fun post, tradition steeped in whimsy makes for wonderful reading.

    • Denise Browning December 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      Thanks, Deb! Have a very healthy and happy 2015! Thanks for all your support.

  5. SallyBR December 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Denise, I think my comment did not go through earlier today…

    Anyway, I’ll keep this one short and simple:


    • Denise Browning December 31, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      I am so sorry that you experienced issues commenting, Sally. Thanks for trying again. Wishing you, Phil, and your family a very happy and healthy new year.

  6. Immaculate December 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Denise, When I saw your post, I rushed over to check it out. It is always fun learning about other different cultures and how they welcome the New Year. In mine, we always wish each other good health and prosperity and that is my wish for you. Happy New year!!!!

    • Denise Browning December 31, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Thank you, Immaculate! Wishing you and your family good health, prosperity, and many other wonderful blessings.

  7. Amy (Savory Moments) December 31, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    Thanks for sharing some of your New Years’ traditions from Brazil, Denise! Very interesting! Your cocktails look delicious, too. Happy New Year!

    • Denise Browning December 31, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      Hi, Amy! Thanks! A very happy new year to you and your family.

  8. Karen (Back Road Journal) December 31, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    I enjoyed the post Denise. It shows how the world is different yet so much is the same. Have a wonderful New Year.

    • Denise Browning December 31, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      True, Karen! Thank you… Have a very happy new year!!!

  9. Asha January 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Happy New Year!!! Wish you a blessed year!!
    You post some thoughtful stuff. I’m always quite interested to know and learn about different cultures, so beautiful. I always show my teen your posts. Keep up the girl work you are doing. You are awesome !!

    • Denise Browning January 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks, Asha!!! Wishing you and your family a healthy and very happy new year. xoxo

  10. Shashi RunninSrilankan January 2, 2015 at 5:23 am #

    Traditions in other cultures have always fascinated me – thanks so much for sharing some from yours Denise and happy happy new year!

    • Denise Browning January 2, 2015 at 8:10 am #

      Thank you , Shashi, for stopping by. It is a pleasure to share with y’all a bit of my culture. Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year. xx

  11. marcela January 2, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    hello! Oh… these coctails are soooo good! so hard to decide which is the best! I wish you the Happiest 2015!

  12. Francesca January 3, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    I could get down with every single one of these rituals 🙂 A Happy new year to you, Denise!

    • Denise Browning January 3, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

      Hi, Francesca! A wonderful year to you and your family…xx

  13. Coffee and Crumpets January 3, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    What colour underwear did you wear, Denise

    • Denise Browning January 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

      LOL… You know I don’t remember it even this year year, Nazneen! I only think my people’s traditions are interesting but I don’t really follow them. 🙂

  14. Liz January 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    LOve all these Brazilian customs! Hope you had a terrific New Year’s Day! xo

    • Denise Browning January 4, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      Thanks, Liz! We did have a tranquil New Year’s Eve which for me it was wonderful. I could rest my sick body in my comfy bed.

  15. Raymund January 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Love knowing about traditions like this.
    Happy New Year to you and your family

    • Denise Browning January 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      For you and your family as well, Raymund! Thank you!

  16. Anna @ shenANNAgans January 8, 2015 at 3:43 am #

    Oh I love learning about other traditions, especially like the white clothing and colourful underclothes. Kinda like being wildly pure. 🙂 Hope you had a cracker night! Happy New Year to you and yours, may your 2015 be filled with all the things you hope and wish for. Cheers, Anna

    • Denise Browning January 8, 2015 at 7:45 am #

      Thank you, Anna! We spent the holidays very sick, most at home. But it was a time when we could rest and spend more time together. I hope you had a blast!!!!!

  17. Kalpesh December 31, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    Happy new year 2016 to all !

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