Caipirinhas and sandy beaches can be an interesting option to the snow of the northern hemisphere, to enjoy during Christmas in Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio, the holiday season has already begun with the lighting of the Christmas tree in Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Árvore de Natal) where thousands of people have congregated to witness the event. According to the Mayor of Rio, the floating tree, the largest of its kind in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, usually gathers 200,000 visitors throughout Christmas in Rio de Janeiro. The largest floating Christmas tree in the world returned to shine accompanied by a pyrotechnic show that lasted seven minutes, and in the midst of great expectation after two years of absence.
The tree, a metal structure 70 meters high and composed of 900,000 led bulbs, was illuminated for the last time in 2015, year in which a strong blizzard broke it in two to a week after the inauguration and forced to reduce its height from the traditional 85 meters to just over 50.
The tree will be lit every night until next January 6th, period in which cultural activities will take place in the surroundings, such as concerts, different Christmas decorations and a nearby viewpoint from which to photograph it. Even Santa Claus will be present, although only on weekends. Christmas in Rio de Janeiro.
One of the most popular events of the season is the Presepios Festival (Nativity scenes Festival) which is part of the largest Brazil Natal Fest, and has the largest full-sized crib display in the world, according to the Guinness book of the records.
Also this year the ‘old man’ has chosen the area of the port to park his sleigh this Christmas in Rio de Janeiro. The Píer Mauá will receive the event “Uma Aventura de Natal” (A Christmas Adventure), the first Christmas park in the city, which will take place between the 10th and the 28th of December. The public will be able to see scenarios of Deserto (Desert), Galiléia (Galilee), Cidade do Papai Noel (City of Santa Claus) and Mundo de Gelo (World of Ice). The Santa Claus will receive visitors in the World of Gelo (Ice World) and his city will have the house of Grandmother Noel, the house of sweets, the toy factory and a theater with presentations of the coral of bears.
All environments have a wealth of details and will have robotic dolls and animatronics in their scenery. Guided tours by educators will be offered every 30 minutes to complete the experience. A place that promises to be a success among children, the Espaço Aventura “(space adventure) will offer various activities. Children can enjoy stories, acrobatic ateliers, a climbing wall, a fantasy world – with makeup and Christmas fantasies -, thematic panels, games and videos in virtual reality.
Traditionally most Brazilians celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, December 24th, so most shops close early that day, then at home, gifts and a Christmas meal is traditionally served that night.
In Brazil, the main dishes for these dates are bacalhau (salted cod) and a large ham or turkey, usually served with rice. The desserts often include panettone, a loaf of sweet bread made with various flavors and rabanaba, a bread similar to French toast, which is soaked in milk and eggs, baked or fried and then sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.
On Christmas day and during the holiday season religious services are held in English at the Union Church of Rio de Janeiro located in Barra da Tijuca and at the church of Christ in Botafogo.
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