Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pravda.Ru in Rio de Janeiro: It took about three hours from Nova Iguaçu, outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to Copacabana beach, one of the most touristic points in the city. Fatima Procópio, 46, and her family members were ready to celebrate New Years Eve
"We needed to take two bus lines, the subway and we walked down for about 500 metres. It was worth it! This is the most exciting time of the year", she said.
She might be right. More than 2 million people shared her opinion and, as it happens every year, they decided that Copacabana would be the best place to start a new year. Not only cariocas, as those who live in Rio de Janeiro are called, think so. According to local authorities, only this year, about 800.000 tourists arrived in Rio for the festivities.
Thomas Ingebrigtsen came all the way from Norway with two other friends. The whole holiday was planned focusing on New Year's Eve.
"We arrived just after Christmas. The idea of spending New Year's Eve in a warm place was amazing. It is so different from our hometown. I woke up this morning very excited", told me Thomas seated in a deck chair, enjoying a caipirinha, the famous Brazilian cocktail (cachaça, sugar cane spirit, ice, sugar and lime juice)
To organise a party for 2 million people is not an easy task. The Security Department worked with more than 1,200 police officers. Civil guards also helped to keep it calm. As for the entertainment of the crowd, Rio de Janeiro City Hall invited famous Brazilian singers who played in not one, but four different stages located along the seafront.
Ten seconds before midnight, all the music stopped and the crowd started counting down. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Night turned day for about 20 minutes. This year, special effects were combined with those traditional fireworks. Cariocas and visitors embraced their families, friends and even those they had not met before. It was the typical Brazilian way to wish all the best for the new year.
As soon as the fireworks stopped, the singers went back on stage to celebrate among those who made all the effort to come here. It was really worth it.
And Pravda.Ru was here in Rio de Janeiro to witness this!
Photo: Rafael Pieroni
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil