Rio de Janeiro New Year’s

Año nuevo en Río de Janeiro. El revellón carioca es uno de los más grandes del mundo. O reveillon carioca é um dos maiores do mundo.

Hi friends, how are you?
In today’s Dica, we are going to learn about the Rio de Janeiro New Year’s celebration. We will focus especially on one specific party known around the world, the Copacabana New Year’s Eve Party.

Copacabana New Year

The Carioca New Year’s Eve celebration is one big mixture of cultures. The party has a French name: Réveillon. During Réveillon, Cariocas come together to watch a wonderful spectacle at Copacabana beach. Ferries are placed at the sea filled with fireworks, which are lit at midnight. This show will last 15 to 20 minutes.

While the crowds enjoy the spectacle on Copacabana beach, a lot of cruise ships watch the show from the other side at sea.

During the show, you’ll notice people doing lots of different things because there are different traditions that they observe. Let’s learn more about these different traditions!

New year’s lentils

Lentils, originally from Asia, are part of a Brazilian dish eaten during Réveillon. If you want an abundant year and a lot of food, you just need a spoonful of lentils at the New Year’s dinner.

Wearing white

Wearing white clothes is a tradition from Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion. The color white represents peace and spiritual purification. It also helps to ward off evil spirits.

Colored underwear

Although everyone wears white clothes, the color you choose for your underwear is also very important. How so? Because every color represents something you wish for the following year. If you want to know what they represent, check out our Dica about colors for New Year’s Eve.

Jumping waves

It’s a typical tradition for Brazilians to jump seven waves to attract good luck for the year to come. For each wave you jump, you have to make a wish. When you finish, do not turn your back to the sea. Walk backward until your feet are not touching the water anymore and then you can turn your back.

Flowers for Iemanjá

It’s also very common to see people putting flowers and small boats with gifts at the sea to Iemanjá, the Sea Queen from the Candomblé and Umbanda religions. If the boat sinks, it means that Iemanjá will make your wish come true, but if the boat comes back, she won’t. By the way, making holes in the boat is cheating!

Fill up your glasses with champagne and wait for midnight. When the fireworks start, make a toast. It will bring you good fortune and prosperity for the following year. This year, let’s wish each other a happy New Year in Portuguese with joy!

Music Fills the Air

Live music and DJ sets on multiple stages along the beach create a vibrant soundscape, from pulsating samba to international hits.

Shared Celebration

Embrace the infectious joy and camaraderie of the crowd. Strangers become friends, united in the spirit of celebration and the promise of a new year.

Besides all that, the enthusiasm is typically Brazilian. People from different places around the world come to Rio de Janeiro to watch this spectacle that is considered the biggest around the world.

Fireworks in Copacabana New Year's eve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Copacabana Beach New Year’s eve: Arriving Early and Ready to Revel!

To fully embrace the Copacabana magic, arriving prepared is key. Here’s what you need to know:

Get there early:

Copacabana during New Year’s Eve is bursting with people. To secure your spot on the sand and soak in the pre-party vibes, plan to arrive early. Buses are not allowed to go or are limited, so the metro is your best option, but metro stations will be overflowing, so give yourself ample time to travel.

Travel tip: Buy your metro tickets in advance! Long lines are inevitable, so avoid the last-minute rush by purchasing your special New Year’s Eve Tickets online or at designated booths beforehand. There are special and limited metro tickets for that night, since a common ticket won’t be valid on Copacabana New Year’s Eve.

Taxis could be available, but expect inflated fares and potential delays due to increased demand, and road cuts. We don’t recommend them for that night.

How to buy your Copacabana New Year Subway Tickets 2024

Until December 25th (10am to 9pm):

  • Pavuna Station
  • Central do Brasil/Center Station
  • Carioca/Center Station
  • Jardim Oceânico/Barra da Tijuca Station

From December 26th to 31st (10am to 9pm):

  • Carioca/Center Station (This will be the only location selling tickets after December 25th.)

Important notes:

  • Purchase limit: Each customer can purchase up to 10 tickets.
  • Ticket validity: They are only valid for New Year’s Eve and cannot be refunded.
  • Time slots: Tickets are assigned a specific time slot for boarding the metro to Copacabana. Make sure you choose a time slot that works for your arrival plans.
  • Return trip: The return ticket can be used between midnight and 5am.

Here are some additional tips for buying your tickets:

  • Go early if you are buying in person on the same day. The lines can get long, especially closer to New Year’s Eve. They will be sold until 7 pm, be aware that in case all tickets are sold out, you won’t be able to buy any kind of metro tickets.
  • Bring cash. Not all metro booths accept credit cards.
Cariocas love to watch the Copacabana firework show and get together with friends.

Rio de Janeiro New Year’s Eve: Safety Tips

As you saw, ringing in the new year in Copacabana is an unforgettable experience. However, with millions of people gathering on the beach, safety needs to be a top priority. Here are some tips to ensure your Copacabana countdown is both wonderful and safe:

  • Pack light and smart: Leave valuables like jewelry at home and carry essentials only in a secure bag worn in front of your body. Cariocas usually keep valuable objects (e.g. a cell phone, money, or credit cards) in their underwear!
  • Stay hydrated: The festive buzz can distract from thirst, so drink and sip regularly throughout the night.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings: Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas. If you suspect someone is trying to pickpocket you, just leave or go to talk with police.
  • Travel with a buddy system: Stick with friends or family, especially during the late-night hours. Look out for each other and stick to well-lit areas.
  • Be respectful: The Copacabana celebration is a shared experience. Be mindful of others, avoid pushing or shoving, and celebrate responsibly.

By following these simple tips, you can relax and enjoy the vibrant energy of Copacabana while ensuring a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.

So, ditch the stress and embrace the joy. With a little planning and our Rio & Learn guidance, your New Year’s Eve in Copacabana will be a sparkling memory you’ll cherish forever!

Rio de Janeiro’s New Year’s Eve is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful spectacles to watch.
And we, from Rio & Learn, wish all of you a year full of peace, health and prosperity.

See you next year, guys!

Feliz Ano Novo! 😉


Click on the links below to see more related Dicas

Happy New Year in Portuguese
Colors for New Year
Year in Portuguese
How are the Cariocas like?

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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