Massive New Year’s parties are prevalent in Latin America, and every year 2-3 million people join the beach party on Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro.
More traditional parties are held inland, with people flocking to the streets once the bells toll midnight.
In many beach towns, Brazilians have a particular way to celebrate the New Year by dressing in white from head to toe with colorful flower necklaces.
White is considered as luck and symbolizes that the New Year will bring prosperity. Other colors also carry their own meaning, for example, red stands for romance, yellow for prosperity and green for good health.
People stroll along the beach where aficionados gather to play music, singing and dancing to the tunes of samba, rock and electro.
Before midnight, spectacular fireworks often light up the skies of Brazilian cities, towns, and villages.
At that moment, people also pray to Lemanja, the Goddess of the Sea, by placing little boats filled with white flowers, fruit, lit candles, and written wishes in the sea.
However, this year’s parties will be held amid tough times facing Brazil, including record high unemployment, climbing inflation and numerous politicians and businessmen being prosecuted for involvement in a corruption ring.
“I only hope that 2017 will not be worse than this one. My father was left without work and was unable to find a new job. I have also seen many friends lose their jobs,” Amanda Lima, a 25-year-old saleswoman, told Xinhua.
She added that 2016 was not a good year for the country.
Ronaldo Sousa, a 37-year-old waiter, also told Xinhua that “the only thing I want for 2017 is good health and work, and for all the negative predictions about Brazil to not come true.” Enditem