As the Chinese say, Fate happens in 3s - first my Carioca friend Adrian S. tells me about how amazing New Year's Eve is in Rio , then yogini Lygia Lima and now Paulista ( resident of Sao Paulo ) Elisabeta S. at dinner in Musha Santa Monica this evening.
Here's more about Reveillon from www.brazilmax.com :
Personal beliefs notwithstanding, the practice of offering white roses, jewelry, and sweets to Iemanjá ( Goddess of the sea ) is as widespread in Rio as is our custom of leaving a plate of cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Ano Novo, also called Reveillon, is the second largest festival in Brazil, attracting between 2 and 3 million people to Rio's beaches every year. While Brazil's biggest festival, Carnival is well known around the world, Reveillon has not received much publicity outside South America. Unlike Carnival, which has well-organized samba schools, Ano Novo retains a more spontaneous character despite attempts by Rio tourism officials to create an infrastructure for it. Six years ago, Rio's Mayor Cesar Maia went so far as to invite Franco Zefirelli, the Italian film director, to "direct" the New Year's celebrations. It was an idea that failed to get off the ground, largely because Ano Novo is a spiritual pilgrimage that is unique to each person.
Nonetheless, the official contribution to the revelry is impressive in its own right. Avenida Atlântica is closed to traffic from lunchtime on December 31 until the following evening. There are fireworks over the ocean at midnight, Brazilian bands playing live music from mega-stages with giant speakers set up along Copacabana beach, and spotlights from the oceanfront hotels sending spectrums of color into the sky. For a city with a reputation for pickpockets and street crime, Rio is surprisingly mellow on New Year's Eve. Even more surprising: In the past several years, there have been no reports of robberies, muggings, or fights during Ano Novo.
Wishing all blessings, peace , love and prosperity in 2007 from Santa Monica !
Big shout out to Berta L. / Yoga Manila , Rashids Mom, Carlos Celdran , Danurasana Brunei and David Byck Kuala Lumpur. Much gratitude and appreciation -