For those of you finding this odd, I think this sentence is referring to New Year Celebrations. In Brazil, New Year's Eve is a big deal, and people gather on the streets or on the beach at midnight to watch the fireworks and wish everybody um Feliz Ano Novo wearing a new outfit, usually white. Branco significa paz (white symbolizes peace).
The color you wear at midnight is supposed to bring you what you want for your new year. You can look up what each color means, but I think that white symbolizes peace, pink is love, yellow is money, green is hope, etc. As I said, most wear white, and some wear colorful underwear/bikinis underneath, and also add color through shoes and accessories (all new, usually).
So if you ever visit Brazil during the Réveillon (New Years Celebration), you might actually hear (or say) this phrase.
There are more traditions to New Year's Eve involving flowers, candles, lentils, champagne... if you haven't already, you should take an educational trip. =)
Portugal is as you might imagine quite a bit different as, despite the two countries being linked, they have much different surrounding influences. Of the ones I have witnessed the 12 raisins seems the most widespread.
Portuguese New Year Traditions:
Champagne [actually, the Portuguese version is espumante] and 12 raisins: One for each month of the year. You should ask a wish for each.
Bolo-Rei (literally: King Cake): This traditional Portuguese cake is usually eaten between Christmas (25th December) and Dia de Reis (literally Kings’ Day) on the 6th January.
Bolo-Rei is a round cake with a large hole in the centre, resembling a crown covered with crystallised and dried fruit. It is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystalised fruit. Inside is hidden the characteristic fava (broad bean). Tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the Bolo-Rei next year. Initially, a small prize (usually a small metal toy) was also included within the cake. However, the inclusion of the prize was forbidden by the European Union for safety reasons.
Caldo Verde e Broa (Green Broth and Corn Bread): This famous symbol of Portuguese cuisine is originated from Minho, province in the North of Portugal. The basic ingredients are potatoes, onions, kale, garlic, salt, olive oil and chourizo or linguica (types of sausage). Caldo Verde is a very simple and light soup, often consumed as a late supper or before a main course. Broa (Corn Bread) is also typical of Minho province. At New Year they are eaten after midnight.
Money in your pocket to attract richness for the New Year;
Wear blue slippers/boxers/ panties to attract good fortune and harmony;
Step down from a chair with your right foot, so the New Year will be a positive one;
Banging pots and pans, so the bad spirits go away.
We took that "education trip" to Rio de Janeiro last year. There were more than a million people wearing white clothes at Copacabana beach.
vivisaurus is 100% right (:-)
No ano passado nós fazemos esta "viagem de educação" ao Rio de Janeiro. Fomos mais de um milion gente com roupas brancas na praia da Copacabana.
I think "significar = to mean/to signify ..." is an infinitive form, not a base form: http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/verbs/infinitive-verb.html.