My name is Roberta Bonisson. I am all grown up now, but here are some of my childhood memories about the holidays in Brazil.

Christmas in Brazil is lots of fun and we celebrate pretty much like here, except that December is summer and very hot in Brazil, so we don't have snow and all of that. But we also decorate the tree and we exchange presents and wait for Santa to come.

But my favorite holiday is really the New Year because no matter what religion you are everybody gets together and has a big party. If you live close to the ocean in my country, it's lots of fun because everyone dresses in white and we go to the beach at night to see the fireworks and we give presents to Yemanja, who is the goddess of the ocean. And, eating grapes, we make wishes for the year to come to be happy and beautiful.


- originally published in the Holiday 1992 issue of ZuZu

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