Rio de Janeiro, Jan 2 (IANS) The iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro finished 2019 by welcoming a record 2.9 million people to its New Year’s Eve celebration on legendary Copacabana beach, where they enjoyed a festive atmosphere, fireworks and music as they rang in 2020.
Residents and visitors from across Brazil and around the world, the majority of them dressed in white, toasted the new year with bubbly amid colourful fireworks that lit up the night sky at the New Year’s celebration, known as the “Reveillón.”
Bands performed in a variety of musical genres, ranging from classical to samba and funk, amid a pyrotechnics show featuring 3D special effects never seen before in Rio, the Efe news reported.
A total of 16.9 tonnes of gunpowder went into producing the fireworks, which were set off from 10 barges during the 14-minute show that left New Year’s revellers mesmerised on Copacabana.
Many of the tourists who attended the New Year’s Eve bash arrived in the morning to claim a good viewing spot on Copacabana.
People also participated in the traditional New Year’s ceremonies, such as jumping over seven waves while making their wishes for the coming year or casting flowers into the ocean as an offering to Lemanja, the goddess of the sea.
The big party kept on rolling into the early hours of Wednesday, with revellers enjoying musical performances at different venues around the nearly four-kilometer (2.5-mile) length of Brazil’s most famous beach.
Samba singer Diogo Nogueria and the drummers from the Mangueira Samba School were two of the most popular acts during the night.
The Christ the Redeemer statue on Mount Corcovado, one of the symbols most associated with Brazil and Rio’s No. 1 tourist attraction, also became part of the New Year’s festivities.
The 38-meter (125-foot) statue, which offers a bird’s eye view of most of Rio de Janeiro and has been welcoming people with widespread arms to the “Cidade Maravilhosa” for 88 years, was illuminated with multicoloured lights for New Year’s Eve.