As the year 2020 is coming to an end, we are breathing deeply in relief that this pandemic nightmare is soon to be over… or is it? With the vaccination started in many countries, we are surely hoping for times of better days and being able to hug friends and family without health damages. We miss seeing our friends, going out, traveling, or simpler things, like waiting for the economy to get better so we can find a nice job. Like many of us, I am also hoping that 2021 isn’t anything like an upgraded version of the 2020 mess.
New Year’s eve is one of my favorite holidays. I was never a huge fan of Christmas, although I don’t dislike it, the last day of the year was always a happier moment for me. Back in Brazil, this is a very appreciated time, as I am sure you heard about the fireworks in Copacabana – RJ at least once in a lifetime. The beach gets crowded and the view is breathtaking…
Brazil is huge and with its many cultures and different styles of celebrating the new calendar to be hanged in your kitchen, there is one thing almost all Brazilians do. Do you know how to spot a Brazilian on New Year’s Eve? Look for the person who is dressed in all white.
We Brazilians are always celebrating almost everything, but New Year’s Eve is special. We like to dress in white, to invoke peace (and let’s face it, we need it), but here is a curiosity you might not know about: we get playful with our underwear or our accessories to invoke some other… achievement. If you want a new relationship, wear pink underneath your clothes. If you want money, try some yellow. If you want to spice up your life, the red color will bring you the charm you need for the upcoming year. This superstition isn’t scientifically proved, but it’s fun to play with.
I remember when I spent New Year’s eve in the US with my family and we were the only ones dressed in all white. People were looking at us in a funny, but the curious, way. We were doing the same because we saw a lot of people dressed in black and for is this is a huge no because black is considered the color of grief.
Superstitions aside, celebrating New Year’s eve is not the same everywhere. When I celebrated at the beginning of 2019 in Lisbon, where I live today, I had an amazing time, but it was nothing like I was used to having in Brazil. The fireworks from the Tagus River were beautiful, but something was missing… For the beginning of 2020, the year of controversies, I was in Madrid with my friends and it was a little confusing. We were somewhere between a huge crowd (in the very beginning of the pandemic – we were so lucky nothing happened), seeking to see the fireworks, but somehow, a year later, I am still waiting. We saw absolutely nothing, I have no idea what happened there. Not a spark, not a sound… Nothing. I recall some guys next to me saying: “3… 2… 1… … 1… 1… 1??“. We shrug, laughed it off, and celebrated anyway. A day to remember without any regrets. I can’t help but smile when I think of it 🙂
It’s nothing new that the celebration of 2021 shall be quiet and reserved, as we are still dealing with a health issue all over the world. I, personally, don’t believe there is nothing to celebrate this year – on the contrary: there is a lot. But it’s not time to go crazy on this celebration just yet. This also won’t stop me from making plans for the next New Year’s Eve I will have – as many as I can, I hope. I would love to write you recommendations on where to go this Thursday to see the fireworks and hug your people, but instead, I have to keep the safe speech: avoid crowded places. It will be over soon.
Your party does not need to be boring because of that. You can go creative without getting in trouble. Ever wonder how it feels to welcome the next year on a boat? Or at a particular place? Well, I am not a theme parties enthusiast, but why not have one just to make the vibes on 2020 lighter? There is no need to go crazy with decoration, just have a good time dressing up or maybe just put your wish on the top of your New Year’s Resolution. Another way of making this a fun night is by getting rid of what isn’t making sense anymore… That pair of shoes, the portraits of your ex stuck inside a random drawer, that gift you got at the office for Secret Santa and you can’t find any use for… Make space for new memories. This is something I have been postponing for a while with my closet – there are many things inside it that I don’t use anymore. Someone else would appreciate it better. Feeling emotional, maybe a little nostalgic? Gather all of those photo albums and movies from your childhood and have fun remembering stories, people, travel… Looking back into your life and being able to have fun with all you have done is a blessing. If it’s too hard at some point, don’t force it. Just stick to the good feelings. Welcome 2021 with warm hope. Do whatever makes you happy. It could be a spa night, it could be an amazing dinner, a guilty-free dessert night, that silly movie you love (Bubble Boy is a MUST for me)… If it makes you happy and does no harm, why not?
I hope 2021 will be easier for us. And I hope we have learned our lessons from 2020. Either way, happy new year! I hope I can help you plan your travel for this same date next year!