Thousands of Cariocas and tourists gathered early today in Copacabana, the most iconic beach in Brazil, to anticipate the traditional "Reveillon", the party that welcomes the new year and that in this opportunity can attract a record 2 , 7 million people to Rio de Janeiro.
The thousands of bathers who invaded Copacabana on Monday played every square meter of its famous beaches and some even set up tents, tables, awnings and fences in which they expect to await the arrival of the new year.
The bathers also disputed space with the followers of the Afro-Brazilian religions that, as is tradition, also flocked to the beach on the last day of the year to offer their tributes to Iemamjá, the goddess of the waters.
The syncretism allowed to see mounds in the sand organized in the form of offerings with candles, flowers, food and bottles of liquor along with people who extended their pareos and their towels on the beach to take advantage of the southern summer sun that cheered the Cariocas in the last day of 2018 and the high temperatures, although they did not reach 40 degrees centigrade last week.
Part of the bathers, some already dressed in impeccable white like most of those who come to the Reveillon, opted to stay on the beach until night to reserve the best places for musical shows and the fireworks display of the party.
The families that anticipated their arrival in Copacabana were prepared for the party, with ice cream coolers in which they kept the New Year's dinner and the infallible cans of beer and bottles of sparkling wine.
The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, also went to Copacabana early Monday, but to inspect the preparations for the party and anticipate that this year's show will be unforgettable for Cariocas and tourists because of its "power".
"Everything is perfectly ready for the party." The sound system that will allow the music to be heard simultaneously on the speakers throughout the beach was tested with great success and showed its power, "he said.
Crivella added that no one will be surprised if, with 2.7 million people, Copacabana achieves its public record in a Reveillon as the hotels are already full and another 350,000 tourists are expected on Monday both on cruise ships and at the airport.
The show, in which 16.9 tons of fireworks launched from ten barges anchored in front of the sands of Copacabana will illuminate the sky for about 14 minutes, will animate a party that began at the beginning of the night with the presentation of dozens of singers in different platforms.
Among the artists who will perform until early morning on Tuesday, well-known singer-songwriters like Gilberto Gil and Baby do Brasil stand out, but also popular groups such as the Banda de Ipanema and the "drums" (percussion orchestra) of the famous samba school Beija Flor.
A total of 1,774 municipal guards – 67% more than last year – will work together with the police authorities throughout the city and 3,379 workers of the "Orange Army" will be responsible for cleaning their streets.
The surveillance will be supported by 596 cameras that will help the authorities monitor the Copacabana beach and its surroundings, as well as other places in the city that will also have shows and celebrations to receive the new year.
The roads near Copacabana were closed for the transit of public and private vehicles since the first hour of Monday, so only those arriving on foot or by metro will get to the beach.