New Year's Eve in Rio
Students of our previous Summit Brazil Winter Intersession programs had the unique opportunity to spend New Year's Eve in Rio de Janeiro Brazil with 35 fellow classmates (and about 2 million Brazilians... all dressed in white, and jumping waves at midnight!).
An incredible celebration!
Brazilians celebrate the New Year's Eve like no other people on the planet. A truly unique celebration awaits our students who will venture from our accommodations in beautiful Ipanema to the world-famous beach of Copacabana.
This is Rio's biggest holiday after its spectacular and rowdy Carnival. During the New Year's eve, Rio routinely hosts around 2 million people (most of whom will be dressed all in white) on its glittering beaches to jump waves at midnight, and to watch the incredible fireworks display.
A true wonder to behold, Brazilians mix secular with spiritual celebration. From about 8pm onward, top musical bands will perform on stages strung out along the 4km-long beach, pumping out a variety of Brazilian and international music. At midnight, a fantastic 20-minute long firework display is lit up over the ocean. Many people stay on the beach and watch the sun rise the next morning.
But on the spiritual side, expect to see many Brazilians dressed in white and offering tribute the goddess of the sea, during the Festa de Iemanja. This Candomble (a religion originating in Africa) festival celebrates the feast day of Iemanja, the goddess of the sea. Participants dress in white and place their petitions on small boats, sending them out to sea. If they are carried away on the current, its a sign that the goddess is pleased. If the petitions return, the prayers will not be answered. In addition to other rituals, you can expect to see millions of Brazilians entering the sea to jump waves at midnight, making a wish for each wave they jump.
BootsnAll described New Year's Eve in Rio like this:
"Rio is known as one of the party capitals of the world, so you know what you’re getting into if celebrating the New Year in Brazil. Like Sydney, you’ll find yourself in the middle of summer here in Rio, so beach parties, bikinis, and swim suits could be the norm for the night, depending on your preferred party location. While other cities on this list offer a myriad of entertainment options, if you’re going to Rio, you’re going to dance and party with some of the best in the business – Brazilians. These people know how to spend a night out, so attending the city’s second biggest annual party (after Carnivale) will have you boogying the night away on the beach."
"Like many things in Rio de Janeiro, it begins and ends on Copacabana beach. Party central is located up and down this famous beach, with all different genres of music and plenty of activities to keep you up and dancing all night long. This year’s New Year’s celebration will feature the usual massive fireworks display (11 barges with 1200 fireworks) in addition to four different stages set up along Copacabana beach, each featuring different music. This decade is an important one for Brazil as they will be the center of the world by hosting both the World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016), and they will be celebrating their national pride by dubbing this the “Golden Decade.” Rio will surely be a fantastic, rowdy, fun, and unique city to ring in 2013."
>> Read our tips for having an indie experience in Rio
>> Find adventure tours in Brazil
>> Look for cheap flights to Brazil