Brazilian Wish Bracelets are for everyone!

October 6, 2022

by Kate Brockmeyer

CultureALL recently participated in the World Food and Music Festival in downtown Des Moines. We staffed the cultural activity pavilion with our Ambassadors who led culturally authentic activites and shared about their cultures. Other staff members not only talked with attendees about the mission of CultureALL, but we also gave Brazilian wish bracelets to children and adults of all ages!

These bracelets are colored ribbons called fitas. On each ribbon is the phrase, "Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia" (Remembrance of the Lord of Bonfim of Bahia). This tradition dates back to 200 years ago in Brazil. The ribbon is typically tied around the wrist, making three knots, each knot representing a wish. Some even assign deeper characteristics to the ribbon color. The wishes are said to come true when the ribbon falls off on its own. The ribbon is hoped to bring good luck and faith. In Brazil, they are even tied around doorknobs and on the gates of a famous Catholic church.

We had fun encouraging others to take a moment to think of any three wishes. Some younger participants expressed wishes of toys and treats. From adults, we heard anything from winning the lottery to going on a much-needed vacation. We hope that the participants will remember their experiences with our Ambassadors, connect with this Brazilian tradition, and reflect on practices from their own cultures.

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Color meaning of Brazilian wish bracelets:

Rainbow – Good luck & Happiness

Brown – Grounded & Simplicity

Yellow – Success & Intelligence

Purple – Spirituality & Sophistication

Light blue – Love, Tranquility & Understanding

Dark Blue – Comfort & Security

Green – Money & Growth

Neon Green – Health, Fertility & Hope

Neon Pink – Friendship, Acceptance & Sensuality

White – Wisdom & Inner Peace

Red – Passion & Strength

Neon Orange – Courage, Energy & Confidence

Black – Patience & Understanding

Information from:

CultureALL believes that sharing the cultural richness of our community with others will elevate our society and the quality of life for all.