“World Cup 2014: Host Brazil Stunned by Germany in Semifinal”—New York Times
“Brazil humiliation to Germany in World Cup greeted with shock, gallows humor”—Washington Post
It’s been a dark 24 hours in Brazil. What’s bad enough was a 7 to 1 slaughter Germany gave Brazil. But what really hurt was that loss was on Brazilian soil during the FIFA World Cup that Brazil hosted and was expected to win the whole shebang.
The Brazilians, however, are very good at making good on their native culture, nonetheless. A chief example: Brazilian Wish Ribbons or “Fitas do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia,” as they are known in Brazil, have been in existence for many years, apparently created circa 1792.
They are worn as a fashion accessory as well as a good luck charm. All you need to do is tie the ribbon around your wrist with 3 knots. Make a wish for each of the 3 knots you tie. Once the Wish Ribbon wears out and falls off your wrist on its own, it is believed that your 3 wishes will come true.
These bracelets were previously known as “the measure of Bonfim” because their size (47 centimeters) corresponded to the length of the arm of a Christ statue located at Bahia’s most famous church, The Church of Senhor do Bonfim.
In the 19th Century, the bracelets were silk made and the writings on them were done by hand with ink or silver. They were worn on the neck as a necklace, upon which were hung medallions and holy images. Nowadays, the bracelets are polyester made and are tied around the wrist rather than around the neck. In Brazil, these popular bracelets have received many names: Ribbon of Bonfim, Little Ribbon, Miracle Ribbon, Wish Ribbon…
Worn by generations and generations, these bracelets are a symbol of faith and good luck. No doubt many soccer fans will be donning the bracelets in hopess of wishes on the next World Cup.