Biggest New Year Party-world record set by Rio de
[Jan 1]Copacabana Beach,Brazil--In
Brazil more than four million people saw in the New Year on the
beaches of Rio de Janeiro.Two million party-goers were on Copacabana
beach alone, witnessing a fireworks display that lasted nearly 20
minutes. They set the world record for the Biggest New Year Party.
In Sao Paulo, South America's biggest city, local media
said 2.3 million people celebrated at the Avenida Paulista, Brazil's
Masses of people turned out despite nighttime
temperatures up to 35 degrees, dancing on the sand before stages
and filling promenades that had been blocked to traffic.
By 3am (05.00 GMT), tens of thousands of revellers
remained on the 2-kilometre-long Avenida Atlantica on the famous
Copacabana beach and in the adjacent neighbourhood of Ipanema. Many
slept off the festivities on the beach as well.
At the New Year’s Eve celebration at Copacabana people
participate in an African ritual ceremony to honor deity Lemanja,
the Goddess of Sea. Boats of varied sizes are prepared with the
images of deity Lemanja, which are later put in the sea. Everyone
comes with white flowers, which are thrown into the sea as an offering
to the Goddess Lemanja . The deity Lemanja is also offered numerous
gifts on the New Year’s eve. (enlarge
More than 10 000 police officers were deployed to provide
security, but the evening proceeded with no remarkable incidents
except for a ricocheting bullet that injured a 63-year-old woman,
media reports said.
In honour of the goddess Yemanja, most people were
clothed all in white and threw flowers into the sea so that the
ocean goddess of the African-Brazilian Umbanda cult would fulfil
their New Year's wishes. Others presented her with offerings of
jewels, sparkling wine and expensive clothing on tiny wooden boats.
Rio celebrated the New Year with a record number of
visitors. More than 600 000 foreign and domestic tourists filled
up 98 percent of the city's hotel rooms, the tourism office said.
City leaders call Rio's celebration, which cost 10 million
reals ($5,7-million), "the biggest party in the world", but
millions of Brazilians also celebrate in their country's financial
capital, Sao Paulo, where more than 2 million congregated alone
at the music shows on the Avenida Paulista.
"Many people are not coming just because there is a lack of sufficient
flights from Europe and the United States to Rio; otherwise, they
would come," Rio de Janeiro's Secretary of Tourism Rubem Medina