15 Brazilian Superstitions Locals Still Believe

Superstitions in Brazil
Superstitions in Brazil | Pixabay
Sarah Brown

Owing to the fact that Brazil has a deep-rooted religious history, superstitions are rife. In Brazilian pop culture, some superstitions—such as the idea that eating mango with milk will kill you—have lost their credibility yet still remain a fact of life among older generations. From itchy left hands to white butterflies, we explore the quirks of Brazilian superstitions that many locals still believe.

Unwanted guests

If you have a visitor in your home that has overstayed their welcome, Brazilian superstition says that placing a broom behind the door will make them leave.

Use a broom to give unwelcome visitors a hint

Elephant ornament


If you enter a house, be sure to leave through the same door as you walked in. Leaving a house through a different door apparently brings bad luck.

Mango and milk

Eating mango then drinking milk will kill you.

Sweeping feet

If someone sweeps your feet with a broom, you will supposedly have bad luck and not ever marry.


If the first butterfly you see in a year is white, you’re in luck—it’s a sign of a year’s worth of good fortune.

A white butterfly brings good luck

Walking under ladders

A popular superstition ingrained in even the youngest generations is that walking under a ladder brings bad luck.

Itchy hand

If you have an itchy left hand, you will come into some extra money.


This is one of the most popular and widespread superstitions in Brazil: if you leave your bag on the floor, you will lose money. It is rare to see someone leaving their bag on the floor, preferring to leave it on their laps, on a table, or hanging from the chair.

Careful to leave your bag on the floor

Warm ears

Be suspicious if your ears start burning—it means someone is talking badly about you.

Bare feet

Walking barefoot throughout the house will make you catch a cold. It’s common for Brazilians, especially the older generation, to encourge you to wear Havaianas (flip-flops) while walking around the home.

Keep your shoes on in the house


Be careful when you drop cutlery at the dinner table. Dropping a knife on the floor means a fight will happen—but this can be avoided by making a cross on the floor with the same knife. Dropping a fork means a man will arrive at your home, whereas if you drop a spoon, expect a female visitor to knock at your door.

Knock on wood

If you knock three times on wood it’s believed to ward off bad fortune.

Knock on wood to ward off bad luck

Wear white

New Year’s celebrations are surrounded by superstitions. Wear white (and nearly everyone does, though nowadays many do out of tradition’s sake rather than superstition) to start the year with good fortune and luck. There are other colors you can wear too to bring different positive virtues, such as yellow for money and pink or red for love.


Keep a pot of rock salt in the corner of your home. By doing this, it apparently scares away any bad luck.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article