20 Interesting Brazil Culture and Traditions

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Source: Justin Vidamo

Since Brazil is a huge melting pot of different nationalities and cultures, it is clear that they have incredible traditions that are one of a kind. So if you want to learn more about Brazil and the people who live there, it is important to know about their customs. There are so many different nations living in this country and the culture itself is very complex. It plays a huge role in the everyday life in Brazil.

1. Carnival

When we think of Brazil, we usually associate it with carnivals. It is a four days long celebration of their culture and heritage. Carnival is a perfect way to get away from the reality and have fun while wearing flashy costumes and dancing in the streets. Carnival is a symbol of Brazil and it unites the people through their differences.

2. Football

Source: A C Moraes

Brazil is known for their love of football and it is the most popular sport in this country. It became a huge part of their culture and identification. Football is played pretty much everywhere and watching the national team compete with other countries is a very special event for every citizen of Brazil.

3. Food

People of Brazil adore their cuisine and it is a very important part of their everyday lives. Since this is a multicultural country, the mix of various foods is what makes this place so unique. There are various specialties that are prepared for special occasions only and they mostly depend on the cultural background.

4. Tiradentes Day

Tiradentes Day is a very important holiday in Brazil and it symbolizes the early fight for the independence of this country. It is celebrated in April and this holidays honors Tiradentes and his efforts of separating Brazil from Portugal and making it fully independent. Unfortunately, he failed but became a hero after all.

5. June Festivals

June is a particularly active month in Brazilian culture and there are so many festivities going on throughout this period. They are mostly linked to the Catholic Church and they involve large family gatherings, bonfires, and celebrations in the streets. These festivals are very interesting to tourists as well.

6. Samba


Dance and performance arts are extremely important for the people of Brazil. They have created samba after all. Samba is danced during every important event but it is seen all around the globe during the main carnival. Brazilians are very proud of this dance and it is taught from an early age.

7. Independence Day

Independence Day is celebrated on 7th September and it is a spectacular event you simply have to experience. This country was a part of Portugal until 1822 but they declared the independence and became a separate nation on the other side of the globe, far away from Portugal and Europe.

8. Dress code

People of Brazil are more relaxed when it comes to clothes and swimwear. They will not judge you if you decide to dress more freely. After all, there are so many beaches around and people are usually in their swimsuits all day long. Plus, you will see that they are no strangers to tiny costumes if you watch the carnival. So don’t worry about showing a bit more skin – you will not be looked at differently.

9. Greetings

Source: Rod Waddington

Brazilians are known for expressing their emotions through physical touch. So you will see people greeting each other by hugging or kissing each other cheeks. This might be a bit different than the customs in your country and it will seem unusual at first, but you will get used to it pretty fast.

10. Large families

Source: Roberto Faccenda

The people in Brazil are quite fond of their families and they have a large circle of relatives that usually live close to each other. They have family gatherings pretty often and usually share a meal together every week. Families are above everything else and they enjoy living with each other.

11. Grandparents

Source: Vinoth Chandar

Due to the fact that parents are usually working every single day, grandparents are in charge of the younger ones. They can be seen as the nannies and they spend the most time with the children, taking care of them and keeping them safe. The bond between a child and the grandparents is very strong in Brazil.

12. Direct communication

Source: Mohamed Malik

Brazilians are very direct when speaking to each other and they often talk about various topics that might be considered a taboo in some cultures. They are known for being open and usually very informal so you can expect a lot of small talk while you are visiting this country. They are still very polite, especially towards the visitors.

13. Hand gestures

When you visit Brazil for the first time, you will notice that Brazilians use a lot of hand gestures, even those that might be considered rude in some western countries. They have a completely different meaning here. The perfect example is sticking your thumb between your index and middle finger – it means “good luck” in Brazil.

14. Gifts

Whenever you get invited to someone’s house, you should bring a small gift along. A simple flower will do and there is no need to spend a lot of time or money on this present. It is a nice gesture that will show you appreciate the invitation and that you value your host.

15. Dining

If you are supposed to attend a dinner, make sure you are dressed appropriately. You should look your best so avoid underdressing. Casual clothes will be considered rude in this situation so avoid going in your shorts and flip-flops – those should be worn during your daily activities and not to a restaurant.

16. Black or purple


When choosing a gift for one of your Brazilian friends, avoid black or purple colors. Even though these colors are gorgeous and elegant, they are considered to be mourning colors and they are not suitable for casual gifts. Any other color will work so don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of choice.

17. Religion

Source: Antonio Thomás Koenigkam Oliveira

Brazil is the second largest Christian country in the world and they are generally very religious. It is important to respect Christianity even though it might not be your own religion while you are over there because people are easily offended if you start extensively criticizing their beliefs and religion.

18. Optimism

Source: Jônatas Cunha

What makes the citizens of Brazil so different from the rest of the world is their amazing optimism. It might be due to the beautiful weather or nature, but Brazilians are looking forward to the future and each and every one of them is certain that tomorrow will be better than today.

19. Eye contact

Source: paulisson miura

Keeping a constant eye contact while talking with someone is a must in Brazil. It is considered to be polite. If you are having difficulties with the eye contact, the locals might think that you are hiding something or that you are not completely honest with them. So make sure you are friendly and outspoken.

20. Meeting a large number of people

If you are out and you are meeting a large group of people, you should introduce yourself to each and every one of them and shake hands. It is simply a part of the culture and it is encouraged. Also, a large group of friends might be a bit loud and they might raise their voices but it is just the way they talk.

The Brazilian culture might not be something you are used to, but once you arrive to this country and start meeting the locals, you will accept it and enjoy the optimism and positivity this place has. So be friendly, open, and have fun.

Have a good trip and travel!


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Brazil, South and Central America