Dec 8, 2009

New Year's Eve in Rio: Copacabana beach has biggest party on earth

Photo credit: Riotur

The réveillon (New Year's party) on Copacabana Beach is the biggest party on Earth, and here's why:

Every year on the 31st of December millions of cariocas, the natives of Rio, flock to Copacabana beach, all dressed in white, from all corners of the town and the country, to bid farewell to the year that is ending and toast the arrival of the new year. And yes, I said millions. Two million people, on average, gather on the sands, all in a peaceful party vibe.

Rich, poor, young, old, white, black.

Many bring elaborate offerings (miniature boats containing lit candles, food, drink, etc) to ship out to sea to Iemanjá, African Goddess of the Waters. Candles light the sand as the crowd waits for the big event: the fireworks display, the biggest of its kind in the world.

Riotur says "the World Records Academy gave the Fireworks Company the award the "Biggest Pyrotechnic Show on Barges in the World" during the New Year´s Eve in Rio de Janeiro which lighted the 4Km of the Copacabana Beach during 22 minutes."

The city puts on several outdoor concerts, all free of charge and very well organized. Cops are everywhere, to guarantee that tourists and revellers stay safe.

After midnight, Brazilians all walk down to the crashing surf and hop seven waves on their right foot, an ancient custom that is thought to bring good vibes and start off the new year on a high note.

Then they all dance the night away.

What's not to love?

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