Last night for our New Year’s Eve celebration a group of friends and family walked from the apartment in Ipanema to Copacabana beach (about 2 kilometers each way) to join 3 million other Brazilians and tourists viewing and enjoying the fireworks.
For me this is one of the best experiences in Brazil - maybe not as a tourist but as a resident of Brazil it is one of the best. For a tourist you pay MEGA bucks to stay in a hotel and to be jostled about in the over-enthusiastic crowd. I can see where this might be frightening, but for me it is the best.
The crowd sings and dances. They take over the street and the taxis and buses pass carefully through the middle.
There are groups playing music - some Brazilian and (like last night) Indian, there are the sounds of drums and horns, voices raised in song and laughter, mostly adult sounds but also of children enjoying this family activity.
We left the apartment at 11 and walked the seawall enjoying the rain and mist from the sea, through the Arpoador seeing the decorated streets and apartments along the way. Once on the seawall of Copacabana it is just a matter of joining the crowd and seeing what you can see. I found a small hole along the edge of the beach and took many photos. ((I carried a small Sony Cybershot (8.1 mp) hidden in my pocket and did okay with the look of homemade photos and video.)) We watched the 20 minute show, walked back to Ipanema, took our red, yellow and white roses into the water, threw the roses into the sea asking our ancestors for love, wealth and a good life in the next year then finished to two kilometers home in shoes filled with sand and pants wet up to the knees, said goodbye to all at the door and began the new year at 2 am feeling quite satisfied with life. Enjoy the video - one minute - extrapolate to imagine the 20 minute show.