Thursday, January 2, 2014

Feliz Ano Novo!!!!

Hey all,

Feliz Ano Novo!!!!  That means Happy New Year to all my readers!!!!  I hope your 2014 is even better than your 2013 was!!!

As promised, this blog will share a little about what we did on New Years Eve.  Brazil is all about the New Year celebrations and millions come to the famous Copacobana Beach to participate in a night of music, fireworks and partying.

The day of New Years Eve starts off just about as crazy as it ends.  It's busy here.  I mean REALLY busy.  I honestly think all the tourists in South America come to Rio to celebrate Reveillon. (New Years Eve)  There are so many umbrellas on the beach, you can't even see the sand! 

Thousands and thousands are on the beach.  Chairs, umbrellas and sarongs that you use instead of towels to lay on.  Coconuts filled with yummy juice and beers are the most asked for beverages.  They play volleyball here, but not the kind you may expect.  They play it like they play their football. (soccer to all of you Americans)  They don't touch it with their hands, but use their feet and bodies to play the game.  It's pretty awesome to watch.  Go here to Youtube to see a game.

As the day wanes and night approaches, the beach goers slip away to put on their New Years costumes.  Here in Brazil, you meet the New Year dressed in white to bring peace and good luck into your life throughout the following year.  It's pretty cool to look out and see everyone in their finery.  Thousands dressed in pure white, in anything from white shorts and tanks to fancy white sequined dresses.  It's quite a spectacle.  

Most of us Cirque people dressed up as well.  And I have to admit, Jonathon in his whites was almost as sexy as when he wore a kilt!!!!  We took a picture of us in front of the hotel Christmas Tree.  Do we look festive or what?  *grin*

And then you head out to party.  There are literally hundreds of places to go and things to do.  Fancy club parties, beach parties, street parties and of course, the biggest and most spectacular of them all...

Reveillon on Copacabana Beach 2013!!!!

Wow!  Talk about a party.  There are millions (that's right, I said millions) of people on the beach.  There is music from top named stars and fireworks to rival anything I've seen in Asia.  Drinking, dancing and merrymaking goes on all night long.  Jonathon and I headed to bed about 2:00AM, but when Jonathon was going to work the next morning, there were still people dragging in from the night before.  Crazy, right?

This picture of the crowd I found online, but it gives you an indication of just how many people  come to the beach to listen to the music.  Way too many for my liking!

While the idea of this fantastic celebration on the beach seems magical, it can be a real pain.  The reason is on New Years Eve, the city shuts down all the roads into Copacabana beach at 6:00PM.  That means no taxis as well, so the few that are still around can only drop their passengers off many blocks from the beach and you have to walk the rest of the way.

And after the celebration?  Same problem, magnified.  Few taxis, miles from the beach and millions of people who need them.  So you can see why it takes so long for so many to get home after the party.  It's also why after much thought we didn't stay out as long as we'd thought we might.  And we were so glad we didn't.  

But the energy of the parties all around you is amazing.  Most of it is good, and we didn't see the violence or crime many told us about.  Though some of our friends had trouble--several got mugged and we heard of a horrible hit and run with a bus.  But in a crowd of two million, I guess you have to expect some ugliness.

Where we decided to go, it was a little more low key.  And a lot more comfortable.  There were still a lot of people, but it wasn't nearly as crowded.  And we still saw the fireworks and was able to ring in the New Year with some more fun.

There are two traditions we decided to participate in.  One beautiful tradition is to stand in the waves and ask blessings from Iemaga.  She is a sea goddess / saint and you toss white flowers into the waves to pray and ask her to grant your wishes.  A beautiful and vain goddess, she also likes you to bring champagne, mirrors and other gifts.  

A tradition that is even more fun is just after midnight you stand in the sea and leap over seven waves.  As you leap, you make a wish and it's said that those too will be granted.  Good luck and fortune, playing in the surf, and giving my sweet baboo a kiss to bring in the new year?  What more could you want.

The whole night is something we won't soon forget.  We love doing new things in different countries and Christmas and New Years in Brazil was definitely something special. No matter where we go, we'll remember New Years 2014 and the beautiful city we celebrated it in.

See you next week!  Have an awesome start to your new year!

Hugs to all of you!

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Ray said...

What an exciting way to celebrate the New Year.. I thought celebrating the Millenium in Palma was exciting, but small potatoes in comparison although I did stay out that year until six in the morning, go back to the ship for a shower and return to the city for breakfast at ten.

Phylis said...

Wow! I wouldn't have been able to handle the crowds and hubby definitely wouldn't have. Happy New Year to you and Jonathon! We stayed home. Much safer that way. lol

Unknown said...

Happy New Year kiddo! Glad you're having a great time!