December 31, 2013
Reveillon – New Year’s Eve
Brazil is filled with a fantastic party atmosphere during New Year’s Eve for the Festas de Reveillon. One of the most famous destinations is Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Nearly 2 million people – all traditionally dressed in white – gather every 31st of December to welcome the new year – (cover photo by Leandro Neumann)
Everyone wears white because it conveys the message they are welcoming the new year with hope for peace and prosperity.
People in Copacabana beach (and others) make small boats which they fill with offerings for goddess Iemanja (goddess of the water) so she in turn gives them prosperity in the coming year. If the offerings are taken away with the current it is a sign the goddess is pleased; if they return it means their prayers and wishes won’t be answered.
There is music everywhere – top bands are always part of the evening – and parties take places all throughout the country. At midnight a majestic spectacle of fireworks takes place, which usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. Celebrations continue until the early hours of the new year.
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