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By Anna Fitzpatrick, Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL –  With New Year just around the corner, beaches throughout Brazil will be filled with people dressed in white, jumping seven waves to celebrate the start of 2011. Reveillon, as it is known throughout Brazil, is one of the biggest parties in the country, second only to Carnival.

Past Réveillon on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo
Past Réveillon on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, photo by Lukaaz/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

While many Paulistanos flock to the state’s beaches, particularly Guarujá, to welcome in the New Year, the biggest party in town will be on Avenida Paulista.

Organizers are expecting some 2,000,000 revelers on the streets around Avendia Paulista, making it one of the largest street parties in the world.

Celebrations begin early in the evening at around 8PM and include live music from bands such as Fiuk, Capital Inicial and Fábio Jr., Escola de Samba Rosas de Ouro, the 2010 São Paulo samba champions will also perform. All this will of course be followed by an impressive firework display at midnight.

An alternative to the party on Avendia Paulista is in Villa Madalena, a lively area packed with bars. All venues in the area will be celebrating the New Year, with most charging an entrance fee of around R$80 and staying open late into the evening. The popular D’Gallery had the forethought to put on breakfast at 4:30AM – a great way to start 2011 (R$180 per person starting at 8PM).

Another option is going downtown to Bar Brahma (starting at R$220 including food), one of the oldest bars in the city, where there will be Brazilian music all night to get the crowd singing and dancing. Later in the evening, head for dancing at D’Edge or the newly opened Opium Solarium in Brooklin, tickets cost around R$150.

Dining options in São Paulo are varied of course, and there will be something for everyone. Many restaurants will operate a special Reveillon menu though, so be sure to call ahead to find out, and it’s advised to make a reservation.

Watch the fireworks on Avenida Paulista from the roof of the iconic Hotel Unique, photo by Thomas Locke Hobbs/Flickr Creative Commons License.

For ultra-fine dining, experience The Fasano (R$1,100 per person) or Hotel Unique (R$2,940 per person for the night’s stay plus breakfast). From here you will be able to see the fireworks on Avenida Paulista from the rooftop bar.

Both menus include a nod towards the Brazilian tradition of eating lentils to bring good fortune and prosperity for the forthcoming year. Another popular choice is to head to a churrascaria such as Fogo do Chão for all you can eat Brazilian style.

On January 1st, it’s time to recover from the New Year’s Eve celebrations with a relaxing, and redeeming day at the Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens). It may be just the thing to picnic and enjoy the peace and quiet while contemplating your New Year resolutions.

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