What colour is your New Year’s Eve?

And so we reach the point where memories of Amigo Oculto and Blueberry Trifle are fading fast and we turn our attention to New Year’s Eve. It seems that in Brazil, New Year’s Eve may be referred to using one of several terms. Mostly I hear people talking about Reveillon, but then I have also seen Véspera de Ano Novo and Noite de Ano Novo (hint, I ‘wonder’ about things like this in the hope and expectation that some clever Portuguese speaker will clarify things for me).

If you decide to spend your NYE in Rio then the main event is held in Copacabana. As many as 2 million people [shudder] are expected to celebrate together on the night – there will be big-name musicians such as Beth Carvalho, O Rappa and [shudder again] David Guetta, plus a spectacular firework display. I went past the area in a taxi yesterday and the driver joked that the only people who stick around for this event are tourists. Indeed, many Cariocas decide to use this holiday to get out of town and avoid the mayhem.

The New Year's Eve fireworks in Copacabana. Sure the fireworks look cool, but just look at all those people. Good luck getting a taxi home... (thanks to mazavideos.blogspot.com for the awesome photo)


But regardless of where you decide to spend Reveillon, there is one question on everyone’s mind: What colour will you be wearing?


Now this question is nothing to do with the obsession with beauty that you may hear is so common in Cariocas. This isn’t about girls and guys phoning each other before the party and asking “What outfit do you think I should wear to Diogo’s party?”. Well, actually it might be a little to do with that, but the main issue is the colour.

When you pick out your outfit for New Year's Eve, you are not just making a fashion statement. You are also making a visual statement of your hopes and desires for yourself and the world around you in the coming year.


People tend to wear a single colour on the night and that colour holds a specific significance:


Branco (White): This is by far the most popular colour. You wear white to show your desire for peace, truth and knowledge. If you believe people on the internet (who doesn’t?!) white also repels negativity, stimulates the memory and improves ‘inner balance’.

Amarelo (Yellow): This is the colour to wear when you want money! My source also tags on the end that it stimulates intuition, but I can already hear the Yellow-wearers saying “Yeah sure intuition, now tell me more about the money!”.

Rosa (Pink): I am going to take a risk here and say that I’m pretty sure I remember my Portuguese teacher telling me that the correct word for the colour pink is actually Cor de rosa, not just Rosa. Anyway, being a mix of red and white, this colour gives you a little of both. Red to promote luck in your love life, White to promote purity and happiness.

Vermelho (Red): Red is for passion, love, strength (stamina?!). My source suggests that if you don’t want to go all in with a fully red outfit you can “paint your nails red for guaranteed results” – OK, I’m considering it, but those results had better be absolutely guaranteed.

Azul (Blue): The colour of the sky and the sea, blue will bring peace to the spirit, harmony, health and tranquillity.

Verde (Green): This is the most harmonious colour of all! Green represents nature, hope, balance and renewal for the coming year.

Laranja (Orange): Orange will bring wealth and personal and profession success. This is the colour for people hoping for a promotion or a better job.

Violeta (Violet): This is the colour to stimulate creativity, inspiration and imagination. If you are struggling to come up with new ideas for your blog, your garden or simply can’t decide what to cook for dinner, maybe throw on this quirky colour from the end of the spectrum.


So, what colour will you be wearing? Of course it’s up to you, but I would advise steering away from black. Some people say black is for health, but I have also seen it said to represent a desire for power and that doesn’t really seem to be in the spirit of the occasion.

As for me, I don’t want to give the game away at this stage – let’s just say that I have been taking some inspiration from DJ Lance Rock, seen here accompanied by Jack Black on the children’s TV programme Yo Gabba Gabba! 

Jack Black (left) and DJ Lance Rock, looking incredibly successful in both their personal and professional lives.



11 replies
  1. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    I have a few friends that are spending Reveillon in Rio this year. Too many people for me even though I’m sure it’d be fun if there were about 1/4 the number of visitors.

  2. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    So if you dress in yellow then avoid people in orange as you are looking for money and they are looking for a promotion to finally start making a decent amount of it. Orange people you should in turn avoid the yellow ones as they seem to be financially worse off and obviously won’t help you get any sort of promotion ;unless you consider food stamps a step up the corporate ladder.
    Red and pink you are both just silly and melodramatic, so go ahead and do your stuff: get together and shower each other in mutual misery that will be manifested in public scenes which will later be written into Mexican novelas. All this will end with both of you in a court room with a bunch of witnessses whose ultimate verdict will be “I told you so”.
    Violets you should seek out greenies as they seem to carry the stuff which stimulates creativity, but avoid those in blue and white since you will be getting enough of the peace with el verde ( you don’t want to sleep forever do you?).
    As for me that is exactly what I will be doing: sleeping.

    Happy New Year/Feliz Ano Novo

  3. tomlemes
    tomlemes says:

    Hi Meredith! I’ve done the ‘authentic’ thing of leaving town for both my Reveillons in Brazil. I think next year I’d like to stick around and at least see the fireworks.

    Gritty, it’s a mixed up rainbow of confusion isn’t it? After a monster hike in Ibitipoca, I only just managed to stay awake to see midnight, then collapsed into a rather uncomfortable tent…

  4. Beatriz Lamanna
    Beatriz Lamanna says:

    Hey Tom!

    Happy New Year!
    I’m from Rio and I love to spend the Reveillon in town. This year I spent the midnight with my family in a big party at the “Forte de Copacabana”.
    I think the reveillon in Rio is a magical night!
    Next year you should stay in Rio, and wear white! ;)

    best wishes,

  5. tomlemes
    tomlemes says:

    Hi Bia!

    I have enjoyed both my previous ‘out-of-town’ reveillons, but I am definitely ready to spend the next one in Rio! I want to get mixed up in all this magic, and I will definitely wear white (but maybe with some orange socks! ;) )

    p.s. I’ve just been browsing through NubeStudio and there are so many nice things to see. I love it!

  6. vim
    vim says:

    Awww you already covered colour code that too in a better way.. and iam checking the post only today :( .. i ended up wearing white! :P

  7. tomlemes
    tomlemes says:

    Ha ha! Vim, I think there are enough colours for everyone to post about it! Plus, you were actually there, so you have added authenticity. PLUS, your post today includes an awesome spicy peanut chutney dish from southern India! Jeez, it’s only 11 and you’ve got me thinking about lunch already…


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