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Rio de Janeiro's beaches

Beaches are just as much a part of Rio de Janeiro as limes are in a caipirinha. Whether it’s Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon – the Cariocas simply love their seafront promenades. A day on Rio’s paradisaical beaches. The relaxed nature of the Cariocas is probably directly linked to the many days they get to spend on the beach – with sand between their toes, salt on their lips and the sun in their faces. As children, it is here that they learn to shoot their first goals, lob a volleyball or stand on a surfboard. In the public sports facilities on the beaches Rio’s youths compete to see who can do the most pull-ups. As adults they relax here and leave behind the daily grind, using the 4-kilometer Copacabana as a jogging course. If there’s one thing all the city’s inhabitants - across all age groups - have in common, it’s a cult of the perfect body and a veritable passion for fitness: in the shade of the palm trees you can spot grandparents doing squats or cycling.

If you’re visiting Rio over New Year’s Eve you can join in one of the world’s biggest and most vibrant New Year’s parties. As the sun sets, millions of people gather, all dressed in white – the color of the Afro-Brazilian goddess Yemanjá, who symbolizes new beginnings and peace. On this evening, it is customary to make rich offerings to the “Queen of the Ocean”. At midnight, the Cariocas walk into the surf and drop their gifts in the waves, including champagne, perfume and, traditionally, gladioli: White flowers for luck, red for love and yellow for wealth. This is followed by a spectacular firework display and live music. And so – with a dip in the waves – a day on the beach ends and a new year begins.

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