Senhor de Bonfim bracelets wholesale

The Fitinhas from Salvador: 3 knots for 3 wishes


For more than half a year, a faded, shriveled piece of string has adorned my left wrist, and I've been asked about it again and again. Reason enough to finally write a blog post about it and tell you more about the souvenir from Brazil called Fitinha.

It's green and a bit shriveled too, the ribbon that I've been wearing on my arm for around nine months and was given as a gift during my backpacking tour through Brazil last year. Back then, it took three knots to fasten the bracelet, which had now shrunk into a cord. The number of nodes is of course not entirely unfounded, but more on that later.

What is the Fitinhas all about?

Anyone who pilgrims through Brazil with a backpack and meets a traveler who wears a colorful ribbon on his arm quickly realizes that he was visiting Salvador de Bahia. The so-called Fitinhas have almost mutated into a symbol of the city and are offered on almost every street corner. The original can only be obtained from the Senhor Bom Jesus do Bonfim church.

Although the ribbons, launched in 1792, are very colorful and varied, the inscription is always the same: “Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia”which translates from Portuguese as much as Means “Remembrance of our Lord of the Good End in Bahia”. With this saying and the wearing of the Fitinhas then (as now) the Orishas were commemorated, the gods of the religion of the Yoruba, who were characterized above all by closeness and familiarity with people.

Three knots for three wishes

Usually the Fitinhas are passed on as gifts. But in front of the church Senhor Bom Jesus do Bonfim, which is one of the most popular attractions in the city, you have to turn down two reais for the popular accessory. So it's all the better that I got my green ribbon as a gift last year and was able to save the equivalent of just under a euro on my travel budget.

There are a few basic things to keep in mind when applying the Fitinhas, namely:

1. The Fitinhas must be attached by another person.

2. The band is intended to be worn on the left wrist.

3. When attaching, three knots must be made, each knot representing a wish.

4. Keep every single wish to yourself, similar to blowing out the birthday cake.

5. The new piece of jewelry must not be removed by hand.

Only when the Fitinha detaches itself from the wrist will all wishes come true. If you don't want to walk around for months with a neglected bracelet like I do, you have the opportunity to attach one of the straps to the grating of the church when visiting Salvador. Of course also here with three knots.

Each color has a different meaning

The history of the Fitinhas shows that each color symbolizes an orisha. For example, green stands for the god of the forest, dark blue for the god of just war, yellow for the god of lightning and thunder, etc.

For you as a superstitious backpacker, it is more important which properties the individual colors of the ribbon stand for and not which gods characterize them, right? Therefore, here is a list of what the colors of the Fitinhas mean so that you can choose the right color for you.

  • yellow = success and intelligence
  • green = development, money and growth
  • light blue = love and peace
  • dark blue = health, well-being and fertility
  • red = strength and passion
  • pink = friendship and community
  • white = wisdom and inner peace
  • purple = spirituality
  • orange = courage and energy

By the way, my Fitinha is green and therefore stands for development, money and growth. That sounds very capitalist, but I have to say in my defense that I didn't choose the color myself. Perhaps the random choice also applies more to the honor I unconsciously want to pay to the Orisha of the forest. It would not be entirely negative if you come from a forest ranger family like me.

The fulfillment of wishes is approaching (sometime)

In any case, I am very curious to see when my Fitinha will fall off and whether the wishes that I expressed in my mind last June will actually come true. Otherwise I am always happy when someone asks me about my yellowed cord and I can tell the story of the Fitinhas.

If you plan to travel to Brazil, then you can't avoid a visit to the beautiful old town of Salvador anyway and you will inevitably come across numerous Fitinha sellers. As already mentioned, the original can be bought at the church Senhor Bom Jesus do Bonfim for a small fee.