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All About Portugal | July 11, 2020

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Singing As Janeiras

singing as janeiras
Clara Campos

Singing As Janeiras is a Portuguese tradition that consists of groups of people singing to their neighbors, whishing them a Happy New Year.

Singing As Janeiras (The Januaries) is a Portuguese tradition that takes place between the 1st and 6th January and has been passed on from generation to generation since ages ago. Somewhat similar to Christmas caroling, As Janeiras are about groups of people going from door to door singing traditional songs greeting their neighbors and wishing them a Happy New Year. Most of the times, the lyrics review the most significant events of the year with a touch of humor. Sometimes singers also play instruments such as tambourine,  triangle, guitar, accordion or bass drum.

As soon as the singing is over, singers are invited into the houses and offered food and drink, usually dried fruit, smoked sausages and the leftovers from Christmas holidays. For those who don’t return As Janeiras with an invitation, there are reserved some mockery songs.

At the end of their journey, singers get together to eat what they have received, celebrating the beginning of a new year.

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