Brazil celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
Brazil has one of the most robust New Year’s celebrations in the world. In fact, Brazilian New Year “Reveillons” in Rio de Janeiro attract millions annually and are second only to Carnival in Brazil. The focus is on the beach, and it’s basically a huge beach party!
Everyone is supposed to wear white attire on 31 December in Brazil to represent peace and prosperity. But people also add other colours as ornaments to represent their New Year’s wishes. Green, for example, symbolises health while yellow stands for wealth.
One of the most easily recognisable New Year’s events in Rio is when a woman dressed up as “Iemanjá goddess of the sea” rises out of the waves in front of great crowds. People then send out flowers and candles floating on the waves to her, hoping she will grant their New Year wishes.
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