A Tale of Two New Year’s Eves

New Year's Eve - Rio de Janeiro

Last year – saying “Feliz Ano Novo” to 2012.

It was a low-key New Year’s Eve this year. Gunner was in town, my roommate made some awesome shrimp, we drank a little bit of Fireball, and stayed home. When my phone alarm finally went off at midnight, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief, like a bunch of old folks – we could go to sleep.

What a contrast from how I’d rang in the New Year in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro.

Since I never did a proper post…here are the highlights!


The Brazilian New Year’s Eve Traditions

Brazilians wear white on New Year’s Eve (oops). This was problematic for me, as I’d only brought 5 shirts with me (curse my minimalistic approach to packing!). Fortunately, Raquel came prepared, and had a few extra white shirts in her arsenal. While I get that white represents purity, peace, and a fresh start for the New Year – it did rain for the first part of the evening. Yikes!

Lentils bring good luck. Lentils is one the several dishes prepared for a traditional Brazilian New Year’s Eve, and it is believed that the eating of the lentils will bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

Caipirinhas are the drink of choice. In the hours preceding midnight, my glass was refilled numerous times… it’s a stiff drink, too.


Watching the Fireworks – From an AMAZING Condo

Right at midnight, from several barges off the shore of Copacabana beach, an amazing 20-minute show of fireworks takes place. Raquel’s friend’s family own a prestigious condo, with the best possible view of the fireworks you could want (especially when it’s raining!). It was like watching the ball drop from a penthouse in Times Square – simply surreal. And, the fireworks were incredible.

This crummy little video doesn’t do it justice:

 12-31-2011 Part 2 027

Getting Squashed for David Guetta

The Rio De Janeiro NYE festivities include a free concert on Copacabana beach, and David Guetta was performing. 500,000 people were trying to get to the stage, and as we forced our way through the densest crowd, more than once I felt my internal organs being crushed. As an American where police and security are always in supply at any kind of public gathering, I was amazed at the lack of any kind of legal presence and the high morale of everyone in the crowd. Raquel said it was a testament to the Brazilian spirit.



Stickers on Strangers + Taking Photos… = Stickerbombing?

One of Jim’s travel gags is to bring a slew of stickers, and leave them on random objects. Usually, those objects are stationary. While we enjoyed the music of David Guetta, we were too far from the stage to see anything, and  we got a little bored, so we created our own fun…

Rio Sticker Collage

It was a crazy night.


Was 2012’s NYE better than this year’s? 

You can’t compare them.

Adventures, different cultures, and new traditions have their place… but so does home. I don’t get to see Gunner as I’d like, as he’s finishing his PhD in Mississippi. The more I travel, the more I appreciate home, and the people I love – and if there’s one thing travel has taught me, it’s that there’s nothing more important in this life.

Would I be elated to spend 2013-2014 in Sydney? Heck yes.

Would I be elated to spend 2013-2014 in a small town in Kentucky with Gunner? You bet!


Thanks Fabio for use of your stickerbomb photos!

Author: Laryssa

Laryssa has spent 6+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. She writes about her experiences to help (and amuse) others. If she's not working, she's either traveling, reading or writing about travel, or planning travel. Follow , Twitter, or Facebook.

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