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New Year's Eve - Rio de Janeiro

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ABOUT NEW YEAR'S EVE IN RIO:
Rio is best known for Carnival but celebrating New Year's Eve in Rio is quickly joining the list of great celebrations.

While there are parties in restaurants, hotels and clubs across the city, Copacabana Beach is the main site of the city's partying.

It is estimated that a million people gather along the beach, the vast majority dressed in white.

Many bring candles and candlelit offerings to the Goddess of the Sea, Iemanja, and set them at water's edge to be taken out to sea for her pleasure. Together, this sets an unforgettable stage for the night's festivities.

At midnight, the arrival of the New Year is announced by a massive fireworks display. Fireworks are launched from 4 beachfront areas, from a raft out in Copacabana Bay and as reams in waterfall formation from three separate spots along the beach.

There are numerous stages set up along the 4 kilometer beach present shows with samba, "pagode" and popular Brasilian music for a full night of entertainment ceasing only as the sun begins to rise.

ABOUT RIO DURING NEW YEAR'S EVE:
Because the main activities take place along Copacabana Beach, hotels in this area are in greatest demand. Their rates reflect the demand and they sell out quickly. Most have a minimum stay requirement of 3 to 6 nights and enforce stiff payment policies and cancellation penalties.

Since the main activity is partying, Rio will indeed be a sleepy city on January 1 with the possibility of curtailed services.

ABOUT YOU IN RIO DURING NEW YEAR'S EVE:
Go prepared to have fun, relax and get in the swing of things. If you do, you will have the time of your life.