Time has flown again this year…Halloween has passed already, and Christmas is around the corner, another year starting soon! A New Year, and memories of partying all night, fireworks…memories of New Year´s Eve in Rio de Janeiro.
To me Christmas is synonymous with snow, Glühwein, a nice fire cracking in the chimney…to me Christmas has to be spent in the Northern Hemisphere. But New Year’s Eve equals partying all night, heat, beach, laughs… to me New Year’s Eve has to be spent in the Southern Hemisphere, ideally in Rio. You see, New Year´s Eve in Rio de Janeiro is something incomparable you MUST experience at least once.
And I am not talking about what everybody knows: huge crowds of people (about 2.000.000) wearing only white, standing on Copacabana beach gazing at amazing fireworks over the ocean. No, I am talking about the spirit, the Happiness, the Joy, that only Brazilians know how to make you feel. And no, I am not talking about Caipirinhas, but yes – that helps as well.
The descendants of African slaves that arrived to Portuguese Brazil during Colonial times have gathered on the beach for decades to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Clad in white clothes as the Umbanda and Candomblé rituals dictate, they would make flower offerings to the Sea Goddess Iemanjá.
I still remember the first time I saw a group of Umbanda followers at the local beach of the safe and secluded neighbourhood where I used to live in Rio. It was our first New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro. I had heard so much about New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, I was so excited! My ideal New Year’s Eve Party!! I had only overlooked a small detail: our first son was only 2 weeks old…a “small” detail indeed, that stopped me from joining the party. That, and a snoring husband on the couch. I waved goodbye to our very happy friends who went to Copacabana to party all night, and watched the Fireworks from the window…
The now traditional New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro party originated in the ‘80s as a way of attracting more tourists to the Marvellous City, and today has become a major attraction that draws thousands of Brazilians and foreigners who do not want to miss being part of such a great show.
Every year thousand fireworks are placed on rafts just off the coast, and produce a wonderful spectacle of light and colour. Few New Year celebrations in the world are comparable with New Year´s Eve in Rio de Janeiro on Copacabana Beach.
New Year´s Eve in Rio de Janeiro usually starts at around 7 pm, with DJ’s and local bands playing music to kick off the party. After the spectacular 20 minutes firework display at midnight, and while bottles of champagne are sprayed and shared with total strangers, a Music Concert follows. World-renowned singers and music bands have been there. What matters is to dance all night. And for that you can also join many parties organised by the hotels and nightclubs in the city, and end the night with breakfast overlooking the ocean from the terraces of the beachfront hotels. And then it will be time to take your first swim in the sea. Is there a better way to start a New Year?
Everyone will be dressed in white from head to toe, with red accessories and/or bright and colourful flower necklaces. The white attracts Peace for the New Year. So, in order to mingle with everybody else, dress in a white suit or dress, together with a pair of Havaianas, and you will be set for the night.
The next day you can set out to discover a City that has so much to offer, as we tell you in our Route of Coffee, or adventure to explore other areas of Brazil that are not far from Rio like our Route of Gold
Whatever you decide to do, you will be set for a wonderful year ahead, because what else can you expect? After all, you have started the year in the Marvellous City.Subscribe to our blog