The New Year's fireworks at Copacabana are never less than impressive — Photo courtesy of Porto Bay Trade
If you're lucky enough to be in Rio for New Year´s, get ready for some serious celebrating. Locals like nothing better than letting their hair down with music, caipirinhas and sexy samba dancing, and December 31 provides the perfect excuse to indulge - en masse - in all three.
Parties are held across the city, but there´s really no substitute for the festivities held right on the sands at Copacabana Beach. Snootier locals may turn up their noses at this massive free party, which attracts some three million people each year, but it's hard to think of a better way to ring in the New Year than by dancing on the beach, surrounded by smiling faces and accompanied by one of the most spectacular fireworks displays imaginable.
Each year, a giant stage is erected on the beach and welcomes DJs and live acts. Big name Brazilian stars perform to rapt audiences here, while major international acts such as the Brazil-loving Black Eyed Peas have also appeared.
Tradition dictates that everyone should come dressed, as a mark of respect to followers of the Candomble religion who offer New Year gifts to Yemanja, the Goddess of the Sea, at midnight. And forget grubby off-whites, choose something new for the occasion, but be warned that shops sell out of their best white dresses several weeks in advance.