Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Celebrating the New Year in Brazil


Brazil, particularly Rio de Janiero, is quite the place to spend new year’s eve!

The new year in Portuguese is called Ano Nove or Revillion, which falls on January 1st. New Year’s Eve is called Véspera de Ano Novo. People come from all over the world to celebrate the new year in Brazil, and there are always special celebrations in bars, clubs, beaches and resorts. In Brazilian cities, especially Rio de Janiero, there are many musical celebrations and concerts, along with dancers and fireworks.

Copacabana, the famous beach in Rio de Janiero, is always packed and festive, and almost every house, apartment or hotel room is holding some kind of party. Even the streets are closed off to cars to be crowded with all types of people, and they set up D.J.s for huge dance parties. Revillion is a very noisy holiday in Rio de Janiero. Expats, natives and tourists all celebrate this crazy holiday in this strange city. It is very packed and hard to get around.


Many traditional Brazilian music styles are exhibited on this holiday. One common Brazilian music and dance style is Samba, which sounds like reggae and has both European and African roots. Brazilians party and parade to this music during the new year to celebrate their multicultural heritage. Some other Brazilian music genres include Axe, frevo and forro.

In Rio De Janiero, there is also the Iemanja Festival on December 31st. It is traditionally a folk holiday to honor Iemanja, the goddess of water in the Umbanda religion. Umbanda is an Afro-Brazilian religion that meshes customs from African faith with Catholicism. This goddess makes offers to the water, or to boaters to carry off to the water. People dress in white and make offerings to her for good fortune, such as candles, flowers, champagne and cosmetics. Fishermen believe that whatever they catch during this festival will set tone for whatever they catch for the rest of the new year. Other people just go here to party and enjoy the decorative art and colorful candles everywhere.

Of course this holiday invovles food, not just partying. Brazilians eat lentils and rice on New Year’s Day, a dish that is supposed to be good luck for prosperity. Some other traditional foods are salads, rice and chicken. Some Brazilian specialties include farofa, which are spiced tapioca grains, and marajuca mousse, which is made with fruit.


2 thoughts on “Celebrating the New Year in Brazil

  1. Do restaurants serve the lentils or lentil soup for New Year’s? do you know where or when the custom began? Just curious. Thanks!

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