Halloween In Brazil

saci is Brazil's folkloric imp
Brazil’s mythical and mischievous goblin is a one-legged forest sprite named Saci, who grants wishes to children. ‘Saci Day’ is celebrated on October 31, too. Click the image to learn more about Halloween in Brazil, if you dare!

America’s Halloween festivities have arrived in Brazil, via Celtic tradition on the eve of All Saints Day.

Halloween in Brazil is called ‘Dia das Bruxas’ (Witch’s Day) and just as our own, is celebrated on the eve of All Saints Day, October 31st, each year. ‘Saci Day’ (which pays homage to Saci-Pererê, a mythological figure in Brazilian folklore) is also celebrated as a semi-official cultural day of observance.

Saci Day emerged as an alternative to America’s Halloween, with the goal of making Brazilians aware of the rich cultural variety of their own folkloric past.

Whatever you may call it, the idea has caught on in the nation’s larger cities as Halloween in Brazil grows in popularity with each passing year.

Like here, the emphasis is on costumes and parties.

It is said that the day was first celebrated by the Celtic peoples; called Hallow Evening, which was later abbreviated to Hallowe´en, until it reached the current form Halloween.

How do they celebrate Halloween in Brazil?

Well, until recently, they didn’t. In Brazil, it is fair to say that Halloween – All Saints Day eve – is an event celebrated via cultural osmosis, brought from American culture by popular movies, comic books, social networking and television shows.

But, according to Calendarr Brasil, “there is great resistance in some Brazilian regions over the celebration of the date in the country. Some people argue that Brazil is too rich in popular culture to celebrate a foreign culture and ignore its own history and identity.

“Because of this controversy, Saci Day was created, based on Law Decree No. 2,762 in 2003. Also celebrated on October 31, Saci Day is a “peaceful resistance” to Americanized Halloween culture.”

Saci’s role for Halloween in Brazil

But the one-legged Saci is a somewhat controversial figure, mythical or not. Often referred to as a mischievous scamp, tales of angry behavior permeate Saci’s legend.

And – perhaps due to the current cultural climate – Saci has also been deemed as ‘racist’ in some circles of the Brazilian left.

But one of Saci’s endearing traits is his expression of kindness to Brazilian children, often leaving gifts with an irresistible grin. But, can he be trusted???

Saci by Astrud Gilberto

Naturally, we’ve found a really great song about Saci, by Astrud Gilberto with The James Last Orchestra. The lyrics folow the video in English and Portuguese.

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English Lyrics for Saci

In the middle of the night the rooster crowed three times

Many times it sang before the morning came

That’s when I saw that beauty

Of the washerwomen at the job of washing the clothes we wear

Often the cock

And I could not stop crying

alone behind the steering wheel that skidded

noticed a clear instant

What moite behind the Saci was crying

‘Inda could hear, do not know where

the song rolled in the air

There goes Pererê Saci jumping on his leg

To see the washerwomen in Chororó source

there comes Pererê Saci jumping on his leg

Deep deeper the woods

Cry, cry and no one has pity

There goes Pererê Saci jumping on his leg

To see the washerwomen in Chororó source

there comes the Pererê Saci jumping on his leg

Deep deeper the woods

Cry, cry and no one has pity

Here comes Saci, Here comes Saci, Here comes Saci Pererê

Ó Saci, ó Saci, ó Saci Pererê

There goes Pererê Saci jumping on his leg

To see the washerwomen in Chororó source

there comes the Pererê Saci jumping on the leg

Deep deeper the woods

Cry, cry and no one has pity

There goes Pererê Saci jumping on leg

To see the washerwomen in Chororó source

there comes the pererê saci jumping on the leg

Deep deeper the woods

Cry, cry and no one has pity

Here comes Saci, Here comes Saci, Here comes Saci Pererê

Here comes Saci, Here comes Saci, Here comes Saci Pererê

Portuguese Lyrics for Saci

No meio da noite o galo cantou três vezes

Muitas vezes ele cantou antes da manhã chegar

Foi quando eu vi aquela beleza

Das lavadeiras no trabalho de lavar a roupa que a gente veste

Muitas vezes cantou o galo

E eu não pude deixar de chorar

Sozinho atrás do volante do carro que derrapava

Reparei num claro instante

Que atrás da moite o saci também chorava

‘Inda pude ouvir, não sei onde

A canção que rolava no ar

Lá vai o saci pererê pulando na perna só

Pra ver as lavadeiras na fonte do chororó

Lá vem o saci pererê pulando na perna só

No fundo mais fundo da mata

Chora, chora e ninguém tem dó

Lá vai o saci pererê pulando na perna só

Pra ver as lavadeiras na fonte do chororó

Lá vem o saci pererê pulando na perna só

No fundo mais fundo da mata

Chora, chora e ninguém tem dó

É vem o saci, é vem o saci, é vem o saci pererê

Ó o saci, ó o saci, ó o saci pererê

Lá vai o saci pererê pulando na perna só

Pra ver as lavadeiras na fonte do chororó

Lá vem o saci pererê pulando na perna só

No fundo mais fundo da mata

Chora, chora e ninguém tem dó

Lá vai o saci pererê pulando na perna só

Pra ver as lavadeiras na fonte do chororó

Lá vem o saci pererê pulando na perna só

No fundo mais fundo da mata

Chora, chora e ninguém tem dó

É vem o saci, é vem o saci, é vem o saci pererê

É vem o saci, é vem o saci, é vem o saci pererê

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Ronaldo Bastos / Paulo Jobim

Our thanks to 7Graus – Calendarr.com for providing essential content to this story. The original may be found here.