Brazilians top for New Year celebrations: survey

Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:26am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Dancing to the beat alongside a Brazilian on Copacabana beach on New Year's Eve appears to be the dream way to ring in 2013 if a global survey of 17,000 people is any indicator.

The survey conducted by social network ( across 17 countries and four continents showed Brazilians were considered the top nationality the rest of the world would most like to share New Year's with.

Americans ranked second in the poll, with Spaniards, Italians and the French coming third, fourth and fifth. Belgians and Swiss ranked joint last.

"This seems harsh on the Swiss and Belgians", Badoo director Louise Thompson said. "But I can understand that most people would rather celebrate New Year's Eve on a beach in Brazil than by huddling against the cold in northern Europe."

New Year's Eve falls in the middle of Brazil's summer, which makes the climate perfect for huge, outdoor parties of the kind Brazilians enjoy attending with friends or family to welcome the new year.

The festivities are held in cities across the country, but Rio is judged to have the best, including Brazil's most famous New Year's Eve event - the giant gathering on Copacabana beach, attended annually by some 2.5 million revelers and widely considered the best New Year's Eve party in the world.

Spanish also gather en masse on New Year's Eve in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where both those present and many more watching at home listen to the clock chime 12 times while eating one grape on each chime, to bring prosperity for the new near.

The Italians, who ranked fourth in the Badoo poll, brought a more romantic flavor to New Year's Eve gatherings by staging a mass kiss in Venice's Piazza San Marco.

None of these gatherings, however, can match the scale of the festivities on Rio's Copacabana beach, which are also famed for their spectacular fireworks display. Ocean liners are known to moor nearby to watch.   Continued...

A man kicks a ball at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro December 25, 2012. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares