Sorry it’s taken me a little while to post about my first New Year’s Eve experience in Brazil, but after watching fireworks in the rain, jumping the waves and staying wet for hours after (and even the next day when it poured again), I came done with a nasty cold. Let me just state for the record, there is nothing worse than having a runny nose and sweating at the same time. It’s feels very unfair and wrong.
Having said all that, let me tell you that my first Reveillon was fantastic! It made up for all of my previous blahs. Christmas, I think might be a holiday better celebrated in a snowy northern hemisphere setting but New Year’s I think works best here. What could be better than welcoming the new year on a beach shortly after the beginning of summer with fireworks, a couple of million people, live music and dancing? That really felt like a beginning where I could do something as opposed to my previous northern hemisphere versions when I would just go back home and wait for the cold to end.
We luckily have friends and family in Ipanema, so we stayed there and left around 20 minutes before midnight. After walking a couple of blocks we (a group of 15 or so) arrived at Copacabana beach somewhere around posto 5. Copacabana is a pretty long stretch of beach so, although there were some 2 million + people there it didn’t actually feel like we were all packed in like sardines. There was moving around space. All of the umbrellas didn’t make it easy… but it was definitely doable. I have always loved fireworks. There’s just something beautifully magnificent about loud explosions that form colorful patterns. Maybe it’s a weird sense of danger, or the thought that gun powder is making art not casualties, but I always find that during fireworks my little heart beats faster and the world feels like a much more exciting, exhilarating place. Revellion was no exception, in fact it may have been the best fireworks I’ve seen. That night was a little cloudy and foggy so I’m told it wasn’t the best show there but I loved it.
The crowd chanted the count down and at midnight hundreds if not thousands if not millions of champagne bottles were uncorked. I was showered repeatedly with the bubbly stuff while hugging, kissing, and wishing everyone Feliz Ano Novo. The band at the stage we were closest to started to play as we made our way closer to the water to throw flowers to Iemanjá. We jumped the waves making wishes while little blue boats washed up on the shore. People started to dance and sing and it felt beautiful. It was everything a new year should be… a celebration! There was hope, life, energy, laughter, singing, dancing, the water, the beach and the sense of being something very small in the grand scheme of things but of being a part of a living, breathing, moving universe dancing into changes and welcoming what’s to come with a loud flashes of color, gifts to the sea and a song.