New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Rio

New Year's Eve Celebrations in Rio

New Year’s Eve means it is time to party in Rio, the second most populous city in Brazil and the sixth most populous in all of the Americas. Home to history, culture and entertainment, Rio is the place to be on the most important party night of the year: New Year’s Eve. Here is how we celebrate.

Copacabana Beach

Two million people flock to this most famous of Rio beaches to watch the spectacular 17 minute fireworks display. The celebration starts at 8 p.m. with live music shows ranging from Brazilian samba to rock. Traditionally, revelers wear white in Rio on New Year’s Eve, indicative of good luck for the upcoming year. But you may not want to wear your best clothes here – party goers love to spray champagne on the crowd, points out Conde Nast Traveller.

This year, a variety of local Brazilian artists will take the stage in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, including singer Anitta, funk singer Naldo Benny, pop-rock artist Frejat, Bateria da Portela e and Mocidade and pagode singer Belo. Listen to the sweet sounds of the Brazilian Simphonic Orchestra, followed after the fireworks by the main attraction: Anitta, pop and funk singer.

How to Get There

Forget about driving. After 6 PM vehicles are not allowed to circulate on the streets of Copacabana. Taxis and buses are an exception but only until 10 PM, so plan yourself accordingly and get there early. If you’re staying in nearby neighborhood such as Ipanema, Leblon or Leme, your best option is to get to Copacabana by foot. Another option is to use the subway (metrô) , if you’re staying in more distant neighborhoods. But please note that you have to buy your tickets in advance!

Jump Seven Waves

Rio is certainly a place of culture and tradition, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. After the fireworks have been set off, it’s customary to head to the water’s edge to jump seven waves while making seven wishes. Once done, head straight back up the beach without looking back, another tradition to avoid upsetting Iemanjá, the Goddess of the Ocean. You may also notice locals leaving offerings to the goddess at the edge of the shore, such as white flowers and candles.

Visit Christ the Redeemer

Corcovado, one of the most iconic monuments in the city, is an imposing presence that can be seen for miles away. The Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer, symbolizes the Christian faith. Head up to this iconic statue and get an amazing panoramic view of Rio to watch the celebrations from afar.

Take in the Sights of Ipanema

The location of the famous beach heard in the song “The girl from Ipanema,” this thriving place is filled with culture. This is where you’ll find lots of theaters, upscale boutiques and the best restaurants around. You can still see the fireworks from here but you’ll avoid the crowds of Copacabana.

As the official language of Brazil, Portuguese is a beautiful, rhythmic language that stirs the soul. Learn to speak this beautiful language through BRIC Language Systems before or after hitting up Rio for New Year’s Eve. Once you know the language inside and out, you can make Rio your annual destination for the biggest party night of the year.