Brazil Day of the Dead

example of phrasing for brazil's day of the dead: dia 2 de novembro é o dia de finados no brasil!

Good morning from Rio & Learn, friends! How are you doing? In today’s Dica we’ll pay respect to the ones we’ve lost, and tell you all about the customs of Brazil’s Day of the Dead. 

Why does Brazil Celebrate All Souls’ Day?

In many countries there are days to celebrate and remember the ones we’ve lost during our journey through life. In Brazil, we also have a holiday dedicated to the memory of the people we love and that are no longer with us.

All around the world, people celebrate this date differently. Some countries, like Mexico, for example, make the famous Festa dos Mortos, which last three days. In Indonesia, a ritual known as Ma’nene takes place, which consists of dressing up the dead in different clothes. In Haiti, it is really common to go outside a cemetery at night and beat the drums, hoping to wake up the God of the dead.

Unlike these cultures, Finados in Brazil is more about contemplation, the feeling of missing and introspection. Although it seems a sad day, Brazilians actually take the day to remember the good moments they had with their beloved, and they gather the family to tell stories for old times’ sake. All Souls’ Day in Brazil is about memory and grief, respect and love.

When is the Day of the Dead Celebrated in Brazil?

To understand All Souls’ Day in Brazil better, we have to go back in time a little and travel to Europe. This tradition began in the Middle Ages, around 998, with a priest named Odilo of Cluny. On the 2nd of November he asked his followers to pray for the dead and since then the tradition has continued. That is why every November 2nd, we celebrate Day of the Dead in Brazil as a holiday!

What is Finados in Brazil?

For you to understand the name finado in Portuguese means the one who died. That is why the holiday is called Dia de Finados in Brazil.

What is an Oferenda?

Oferenda, also known as ofrenda, is a private altar, often set up at the graveside or at a special place inside one’s house. It’s used to offer up food and drink to the spirits of the ancestors. In Brazil, many religions like Candomblé use these oferendas to express gratitude for their ancestors and spiritual guides – who are known for taking care of their loved ones in the afterlife.

How do Brazilians Observe the Day of the Dead?

example of brazil's day of the dead phrasing: algumas pessoas não comem carne e nem bebem álcool durante o dia de finados.

Brazil’s Day of the Dead is a day of contemplation, remembering those who have left and also valuing life. On this day, as most schools and businesses are closed, people are free to celebrate at home or outside.

Here, it is common to go to the cemetery and visit the grave of  loved ones, to leave them flowers and prayers for them. On this day the cemeteries are usually full, and you can see people selling flowers at the streets. Also, it is very common to go to church and attend masses. They are in memory of the people who have passed away.

There are Brazilians who prefer being with their friends and families. Seeing as the 2nd of November is a holiday, Brazilians use this day to have a churrasco and kick back at the home of a friend or of a relative. And let’s face it, there’s nothing better than being among loved ones in a moment like this, right? However, you should know that some people don’t eat meat nor drink alcohol in that day as a sign of respect.

For Brazilians, there is a word that deeply expresses the feeling, or longing, one may have over someone they’ve lost. This word is saudade. Do you know what it means? Click here and come learn Portuguese online with us!

When is the Next Holiday?

This holiday is always on November 2nd. Take a look at the table to see on which day the next holidays will fall:

Days of the weekDateMonthYear

Vocabulary for Brazil’s Day of the Dead

Dia de FinadosAll Souls’ Day
CemitérioCemetery / Graveside
Pós vidaAfterlife

Now you know all about the Day of the Dead, a holiday in Brazil. And in your country, how do you observe the Day of the Dead? Let us know!

Take care!

    Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Our Lady of Aparecida
Holidays in Brazil
Corpus Christi in Brazil
Independence Day in Brazil

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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