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New Year’s Eve in Rio!

May 30, 2020

New Year’s Eve (Reveillon) is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most important celebrations, second only to Carnival in popularity.

Part of the Contours Travel team, Victor grew up in Rio de Janeiro and started his career as a tour guide in his hometown. He has been wandering around South America ever since he saved up the money for his first airfare. Last year he spent New Years’ in Rio, so we thought he could share his local’s perspective on this special event. 

Celebrating New Year’s Eve like a local.

New Year’s Eve in Rio is brought together with a lot of expectations. There is certain electricity in the air. The days leading up to the 31st involve heaps of preparations. People start to think about their New Year celebrations weeks before New Year’s Eve comes, wondering what will they do, eat, drink, and where will they be.

What is more, a great part of these preparations are related to popular superstitious rituals. Many release white flowers into the ocean as offering to Yemanja, the goddess of the ocean, asking her for good luck in the coming year. These rituals are a strong reminder of the mixed races that formed Brazil, blending aspects of Christianity and African traditions.  

Across the city, many different neighbourhoods offer their own fireworks and shows. And festivities last until the early morning hours.

But while there are parties all over town, Copacabana Beach is undoubtedly the epicentre. Copacabana attracts millions of people due to the massive fireworks show (normally lasting for more than 20 breathtaking minutes!). And there is an incredible atmosphere created by the hordes of visitors from all over the world, all dressed in white.

It is easy to be seduced by Rio during ‘reveillon’. The summertime is booming and locals, called cariocas, are at their most relaxed and happy. Perhaps because the much-loved Carnival is just around the corner? Or maybe this is simply the Brazilian character.

As many as 2 million people from all over the world travel to Rio for this spectacular event. Want to join the party? Call us today to arrange your New Year trip!