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10 Portuguese traditions to celebrate the New Year

2023 is about to end and the new year is always celebrated with enthusiasm, joy, and a touch of magic.

New Year’s Eve is a time for banquets and rejoicing with family and friends. But there is also time for the rituals and superstitions that are part of the tradition of many Portuguese families.

As we wish 2024 to be a very happy year for everyone, here we share 10 Portuguese traditions to celebrate New Year’s Eve, to bring good luck and prosperity over the next 365 days.

Eat 12 sultanas (dry raisins)


At midnight, tradition demands that you eat a sultana for every chime of the hour, 12 sultanas, and 12 wishes for the new year.

Taking your first swim in the sea


For the bravest who venture into the freezing waters of the Atlantic, believing that it purifies and renews energy and brings good fortune.

Cash in your hand or a new banknote in your wallet


To encourage prosperity in the new year.

Wearing blue underwear

A more recent tradition, and one adopted by the Portuguese. Blue represents health.

Wearing a new piece of clothing

This tradition means the beginning of a new year with financial security.

Leaving all doors and windows open


To ensure that the new year arrives with fresh air and very special blessings.

Getting rid of old things


Throwing away things that are no longer used, helps to get rid of the past.

Making noise

To chase away everything that isn’t good. Tradition demands that you bang the lids of pots and pans.

Getting started on the right foot


Get off a chair with the right foot, or walk into the house with your right foot.

Making a toast


The traditional champagne toast is mandatory.

These are some of the Portuguese traditions, but there are more, depending on the region in the country. We wish you all a new year full of prosperity and travelling.