Saci Day, in Portuguese Dia do Saci, is a day created by the Brazilian Government to oppose the "American influenced" holiday of Halloween. The Day of Saci is commemorated on the same day as the American holiday, October 31. It was designed as a celebration of Brazil's culture and folklore, but only half of Brazilians commemorate it.
It started with some English schools, where Halloween was an important celebration. The real push towards the popularization of the festivity was given by industry later. In the last week of October in Brazil, many stores are decorated with pumpkins and dark colors and adorned with Halloween products – most imported from China or Taiwan.
Trying to oppose the “American influence” the government established Saci Day. The initiative was strongly supported by artists, educators, politicians and a good portion of society.
The Saci, also called Saci-pererê, was the best known character of Brazilian folklore. It originated among the Indians in the missions in the south of Brazil. In some regions, the Saci appears as an evil being, in others, as a playful and graceful creature. In northern Brazil, African influence transformed the Saci into a little black boy who is always smoking a pito (a kind of pipe) and had lost one of his legs in a Capoeira fight. The Europeans also contributed to the legend, so the Saci got a pileus, a little red cap used by the legendary troll (a small enchanted rebel creature native to northern Portugal, especially the region of Tras-os-Montes. It wears red caps, possesses supernatural powers and makes mischief indoors, especially at night.)
For most children and teenagers, the point is simply to celebrate and change the school routine. Halloween has become a special occasion. The Day of Saci is celebrated mainly among the youngest students, for whom the Saci plays a magical and frightening role.
The Brazilian metal and humor band, "Detonator e as Musas do Metal", released a successful recording called "Saci" to popularize the Day of Saci. The song says "October 31 it's Saci's day, make no mistake my friend, thinking that are american... Saci is a warrior with red cap, Saci is a buck boy...".
- Dia do Saci faz 'resistência pacífica' ao Halloween para preservar mitos nacionais. Bol, 31 de outubro de 2011.