In Portugal, A noite de Ano Novo Play slow audio Play normal audio New Year's Eve is full of traditions and superstitions. Just like Christmas, the celebration begins with a family dinner, and even more holiday sweets.
It’s All About o Dinheiro!
Superstition says that you can attract o dinheiro Play normal audio money in the new year by eating chocolate.
Another superstition says that you should hold some money while stepping up onto a chair, using your right foot first, to signify moving up in life and attracting richness.
An older belief that dates back to the 19th century says that you should put uma nota Play slow audio Play normal audio a bill inside your right shoe, and make the first purchase of the year with it.
You can also attract money by tossing a coin in the air and/or hopping on your right foot at midnight.
Just in case those aren’t enough, why not put uma folha de louro Play slow audio Play normal audio a bay leaf in your wallet and leave it there o ano todo Play slow audio Play normal audio the whole year?
Interesting side note: In Brazil, they attract money by chewing seven sementes de romã Play slow audio Play normal audio pomegranate seeds on New Year’s Eve and wrapping them in a napkin to store in their wallet.
Just like many other countries, Portuguese natives usher in the New Year with bebidas alcoólicas Play slow audio Play normal audio alcoholic beverages, preferably sparkling wine, and never water. They say that alcohol brings vitality and health (even though modern science may suggest otherwise)!
To renew your strength, you should save a cortiça Play slow audio Play normal audio the cork from the champagne bottle and only throw it away the following year.
Some believe that at midnight you should jump three times with a glass of champagne in your hand, without spilling it, and then throw the liquid behind your back without looking. This is said to leave behind all the bad that happened throughout the year.
If someone is hit with the champagne in the process, don’t worry – they are supposed to have boa sorte Play slow audio Play normal audio good luck all year around!
Your choice of clothing is also very important on New Year’s Eve.
Wearing new underwear is said to attract love and good luck, but which colour is best is heavily debated. Some say that your underwear should be azul Play slow audio Play normal audio blue, while others say vermelho Play slow audio Play normal audio red.
Your clothes shouldn’t be too tight and should not have holes or tears. Otherwise, you may experience economic difficulties.
Vamos Fazer Barulho!
In some places of Portugal, the tradition says that at midnight, you should run to the window and make as much noise as you can using as tampas Play normal audio lids from cooking pots. This tradition of making noise is one of the oldest and most deep-rooted superstitions in the world, meant to scare away evil spirits and old ghosts that haunted the previous year. This is believed to have origins prior to the Roman Empire. In Lisbon, during the 50s and 60s, old plates and pots were thrown out the window, but this caused so such chaos that the ritual was put to an end.
More Ways to Ensure a Feliz Ano Novo
- A common tradition is to eat 12 raisins at midnight – one for each of the the 12 clock strikes. For each passa Play slow audio Play normal audio raisin you eat, you make one desejo Play slow audio Play normal audio wish
- Before the celebrations start, some Portuguese will make their bed with new sheets to bring happiness to their love life in the year ahead.
- At the beginning of the New Year, make sure you do a thorough cleaning of your home. Get rid of garbage and any old or unnecessary objects in order to drive away the negative energies of last year.
- Don’t eat poultry as your last meal of the year or your happiness could fly away like a bird!
- Avoid arguments of any kind on the first day of the year because that will set the pace for the rest of the year.
Some of these traditions are hundreds of years old, and the origin of some is unclear. Although many realize that these are just silly superstitions, many choose to follow them anyway. They make the party more fun and help to give everyone a positive outlook for the year to come.
And if you’re reading this during o Ano Novo, Rui, Joel and the rest of the team at Practice Portuguese want to wish you:
… because as the saying goes,