27 Dec 2018 2656
#reveillon #tradition

New Year’s Eve Portuguese style

New Year's Eve in Portugal is a magical feast, where some traditions cannot be left out. Health, peace, love, money and luck are what people usually wish for in the New Year. But to get them, there are rituals to carry out on New Year's Eve. ..

Let off fireworks

On Madeira, letting off fireworks on New Year's Eve is a tradition that has been passed down the generations. 

Families gather on the terraces and balconies of their houses to carry out this ritual. Rockets, serpents, Roman candles and Saturn shells. .. are some of the most sought-after items in specialist stores. Funchal Bay becomes a magical, improvised stage of lights, colours and sounds. At midnight the official show begins, with dozens of firework launch sites dotted around the city and at sea. It is so large and spectacular that it has been recognised as the biggest fireworks display in the world by Guinness World Records!! One of the best places to see the show is from the terrace of the Porto Santa Maria Hotel, in Funchal’s old town. 

In Lisbon, you can see a firework display in Terreiro do Paço, about 25 minutes walk from the PortoBay Marquês hotel. If you prefer a more exclusive location away from the crowds, opt for the magnificent terrace of the PortoBay Liberdade. 

If you choose the Algarve to spend New Year's Eve, the gardens of the PortoBay Falésia Hotel are a great spot to see the fireworks on the beach.

Dress up (including your underwear !!)

On the island of Madeira, gala dresses and tuxedos are the dress-code for this glamorous night. As for underwear, this should be freshly unwrapped on New Year's Eve and preferably blue - they say it brings the best of luck !! 

Eat 12 raisins and toast with champagne

Think of 12 wishes for the coming year: one for every raisin. At midnight, make a toast with champagne and eat the 12 raisins. Some people savour them slowly as the clock chimes midnight, and some make all their wishes at once with their mouth full. .. anything goes !!

Have money in your pocket and climb a step

Put some money in your pocket, preferably the highest denomination note you have. When it’s midnight, climb a step, or get on a chair, and show it to the moon. .. they say that prosperity will be guaranteed in the coming year.

Light up the houses and open the windows

On New Year’s Eve on the island of Madeira, some people turn on all their lights and open the windows of their houses. This makes Funchal Bay look even more beautiful, and some say it helps to let in the New Year with positive energy. 

Get friends and family together

Don’t forget to give your friends and family hugs and kisses on New Year's Eve. .. being close to those you love most is bliss !! The idea is for them to remain together and at peace.

Beat saucepans

In Lisbon, some people beat pots and pan lids together. .. the deafening noise is supposed chase away evil spirits.

Have a dip in the sea

In Madeira, the mild Atlantic temperatures (around 18ºC in winter) make it easy to keep this refreshing tradition. .. a swim in the sea on the first day of the year "brings good health" !! 

Watch the sunrise

Many Portuguese people dance until dawn on New Year's Eve. .. Take the opportunity to see in the New Year and watch the first sunrise - they say it brings happiness !!

Have a special breakfast

There’s nothing like starting the year with a sturdy breakfast. Tradition in Madeira demands you drink cocoa, but in PortoBay hotels champagne is always included. .. Indulge in our New Year brunch !! 

Whether you’re superstitious or not, join the Portuguese-style New Year's Eve party at PortoBay hotels. May your wishes come true !!

Do your New Year's resolutions include a trip to Brazil?  Find out about  New Year Brazilian style !!


Lisbon Madeira . Algarve . Rio de Janeiro . São Paulo .  Búzios .  
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