It’s that time of year, time to ring in the New Year’s Eve! As you make your preparations to celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world, you may have some traditions you practice or even some superstitions.
This is especially true in Brazil – where Brazilian New Year’s Eve traditions are especially highlighted on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s second largest city.
That night, the center of celebration is Copacabana New Year’s Eve!
Looking for other things to do in Rio?
Check out this Rio Travel Guide from Layer Culture.
Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro
One of the top things to do in Rio de Janeiro is to experience the famous Copacabana Beach New Year’s Eve party.
It’s difficult to replicate the feeling of standing on that famous and warm beach, sand between your toes, surrounded by about 3 million people with your very own bottle of champagne.
If you are planning on going to Copacabana Beach for Rio de Janeiro New Year’s Eve Party, here are a few tips to help you plan for the perfect night.
Arrive early to get the best spots
Most people will arrive closer to midnight, so you can try to beat them by arriving before 10 pm. You can mark your spot by having your towel or canga (Brazilian style sarong) and beach chairs.
See a Concert in Copacabana
For the epicenter of the party in Copacabana Beach, head out to the beach section in front of Copacabana Palace. There is a big stage for a concert here.
Don’t rely on Uber or Taxis in Rio
Riding Metro is recommended, and buy the special New Year’s Eve passes. The Metro will be open until 5 am on New Year’s Day.
Stay in a hotel in Copacabana
If you have the budget and can afford it, we recommend staying right on Copacabana Beach. There are a few hotels around Copacabana Beach that are perfect places to stay for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Of course, we recommend booking your hotel well in advance.
Here are a few suggestions for Copacabana Beach hotels. We may make a commission if you decide to book one of these using the links below:
Looking for the perfect hotel in Rio de Janeiro? Search here to find hotels in Rio de Janeiro and choose the one that works best for you and your budget.
All the while, you’ll be able to watch the ships in the middle of the bay being illuminated by the explosions of fireworks at the strike of midnight.
What to wear in Brazil for New Year’s Eve?
For New Years in Brazil, it’s traditional to wear white clothing. The tradition is based on African rituals that have been integrated into the Brazilian culture.
You can even take it a step further with this odd Brazilian New Year’s Eve tradition: color-coded underwear. Your underwear color signifies what you want to focus on for the upcoming New Year! More on this on Tradition 2 below.
Classy outfit for New Year’s Eve Party in Rio de Janeiro? Check out these white beach dresses for women or white beach clothing for men – and observe the Brazilian tradition for New Year’s Eve in style!
Reveillon in Brazil
A former co-worker of mine is a native of Brazil. I asked him to tell me a bit about the Brazilian New Year’s Eve traditions he and his family observe. Hopefully, you’ll find one or two interesting enough to include in your own celebrations that weekend.
Neto: In Brazil, the New Year’s Eve celebration, called Reveillon, is one of the most important dates in the year. It’s the time to reflect upon the past, and make new resolutions for the coming year.
There are many Brazil customs and traditions and other superstitions to start the New Year the right way!
New Year’s Eve traditions in Brazil
If you’re going to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Brazil, you have to go all in! Here are a few authentic tips that Brazilian’s practice. Try some – you never know, they might work!
But before you do anything, you have to choose a white outfit for the night and it must be brand-new. Wearing white will guarantee peace throughout the coming year.
All dressed up? Good! Now here are a few Brazilian traditions for New Year’s Eve.
1. Jump seven waves
If you are at the beach when midnight comes around, you must jump 7 waves and throw white flowers on the beach to start the New Year with luck, happiness and prosperity.
This is why people here always prefer to spend Brazilian New Year’s Eve at the beach.
2. Multi-colored undergarments
The most common New Year’s Eve superstition in Brazil is wearing colors with different meanings. Wearing white outer layers is essential; however, undergarments can include color. Brazilians normally choose the color of their underwear to attract what they want.
- Yellow = money and prosperity
- Pink = love
- Red = passion
- Blue = harmony
- Orange = professional success
- Green = health
- Purple = inspiration
3. Brazilian New Year’s Food
Eating pomegranate brings wealth. You have to eat seven little seeds and keep the seeds in your wallet during the turn of the year.
Don’t eat poultry, such as turkey or chicken. These animals walk backwards or “regress in life.” No one wants to go backwards. Always forward!
4. Get Lucky
Keeping a bay leaf in your wallet and eating lentils brings you luck.
5. Carry lots of cash
Always spend Reveillon with pockets full of money, so that you can continue the rest of the New Year the same way. Obviously, be careful about going anywhere with wads of cash in your pockets.
If you’re going to skip one Rio New Year’s Eve tradition, this might be a good one!
6. Finding love on New year’s Eve in Brazil
To ignite a new love, always greet the object of your affection after the countdown at midnight.
If you’d like to travel a lot in the New Year, grab an empty suitcase and walk around your house. May we suggest choosing a white suitcase?
After all, you have white clothing. You need to go all in!
8. New Year on the “right foot”
To start the New Year off on the “right foot,” do the countdown on a higher surface and step down with the right foot in the New Year.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Will you ring in New Year with any type of traditions or superstitions? Have you been to a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration during your travels?
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Halef moved from Indonesia to the US nearly two decades ago to go to college here. He hasn’t looked back. He’s been to over forty countries and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He’s a Landscape Architect in Atlanta, GA.