Portugal has been celebrating New Year’s for millennia. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the country has a lot of New Year’s traditions.
For starters, the Portuguese enjoy fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Lots and lots of fireworks. So many that one New Year’s Eve celebration in Madeira was named the largest fireworks show ever by the Guinness Book of World Records.
New Year’s Traditions
But that’s just the beginning. There are special foods to eat, traditional drinks to enjoy, and sometimes weird and unusual annual holiday traditions to observe. For example, people in Portugal make a point of wearing new underwear on New Year’s Day. But not just any underwear. It’s a tradition that the color of your New Year’s underwear will set the tone for the entire year. So if you wear yellow, for example, you hope to find financial success and if you wear green underpants you hope for good health.
Then there’s the Portuguese tradition of taking a cold dive in the ocean on the first of January. Some people make sure to have money in their hands at the stroke of midnight on NYE. Others will throw money towards the inside of their house. Still others will turn on all the lights, open all the doors, go outside, and then step back in using their right foot first to ensure good luck.
At BRINT Portugal, we’ve enjoyed all of the New Year’s traditions we have experienced here. While some of them may be unique (and even a little bit weird), they still make us feel like we are part of a loving, inclusive community where people genuinely care for each other and help them throughout the entire year.
If you are spending your first New Year’s in Portugal, get ready for some wild celebrations. But also get ready to feel loved, cherished, and appreciated by your new Portuguese family.