Informant-Beatriz Jacobs: My roommate, Beatriz Jacobs who is originally from Brazil and lives there with her family. New years is her favorite holiday and a huge tradition in Brazil.
Brazilian New Year. Interviewed in person.
New Years in Brazil: “It is tradition in Brazil that they wear white and I have never seen any other culture that does this but they always do it even if they’re not in Brazil. Everything we do is basically to bring luck for the next year. These things bring luck: white, only white clothing in malls before New Years, some times people paint their nails to signify different things, such as yellow signifying that you are going to find love. Also for New Years every Brazilian goes to the beach. I am from Sao Paulo so we don’t live by the beach but we still go to my beach house. It’s the biggest thing to go to the beach even if you don’t have money people tent on the beaches. “Pulando As Sete Ondinhas” is jumping the seven little waves and its very traditional. So basically what we do is we go to the very edge of the ocean where the waves crash and for each wave we jump it and we jump seven tiny waves. For each wave we make a wish for the next year, like a new years resolution. Seven is supposed to be a holy number and at the end we have this flower that we throw out to the ocean as an offering to the Sea God. She is supposed to help us grant our wishes for the new year. It is also traditional to eat turkey and lentils and grapes and they are also supposed to bring luck. We also eat “Rabanada” and it is like a really sweet French toast that I love. And that is our desert after the dinner on New Years. In Rio, New Years is huge and there is parades and fire works shows and I love going there to celebrate. At my beach, there are two beaches that are conjoined, one is bigger than the other but they are right next to each other separated by a river. Every year there is a sort of competition between the two beaches for who has the best firework show. And of course it always ends with a huge party and the party goes all night, it’s the best time.”
Thoughts: I love hearing more about my roommate’s culture and it is so interesting. The Brazilian traditions are very different from America and I think they are really beautiful. I especially like how their new year’s resolutions are in the form of jumping waves.