(photo courtesy of flickr – Leandro Neumann Ciuffo, Rèveillon 2013 – Copacabana – Rio de Janeiro)
So, how do the Cariocas (as Rio’s fun-loving city inhabitants call themselves) ring in the New Year in Rio? Let’s take a look . . .
As with many cultures, the start of the New Year in Brazil represents a time of renewal, a fresh start and hope for the future. In Rio, the biggest celebration takes place on Copacabana Beach where millions of partygoers flock to the shore to watch the midnight fireworks display set from ocean barges. Meanwhile a steady samba beat fills the sultry summer evening air.
New Year’s in Rio honors the city’s rich cultural heritage. For starters, revelers wear all white clothing to symbolize a cleansing of the past and a welcoming nod to the New Year. But to attract a certain kind of luck, many add accent colors, too, each with its own symbolism: red, to attract love and romance; green, for good health; and yellow for prosperity.
Another popular New Year’s tradition comes from Candomblé, Rio’s Afro-Brazilian religion. In this ritual, celebrants cast white flowers, floating candles and toy wooden boats with small gifts into the ocean as offerings to Yemanja, Queen of the Seas. Believers say that if your tokens return to you, your wishes will not be granted, though nothing prevents you from trying again.
Just after midnight, merrymakers jump into the ocean to skip over seven different waves, making seven different wishes to Yemanja for the New Year. But legend says that if you turn your back while going back to shore, your wishes will not come true.
Naturally, Rio’s New Year festivities include favorite Brazilian foods for good luck, like lentils, pork and fish accompanied by the pop of champagne to bring in the New Year. And where does chocolate fit in, I wonder . . . ?
(photo courtesy of flickr – Leandro Neumann Ciuffo, Rèveillon 2013 – Rio de Janeiro)
Feliz Ano Novo, wanderboomers!
Have you ever celebrated New Year’s in Rio, wanderboomers? Where’s your favorite place to ring in the New Year?