"Mindel é um Brazilim." - Cesaria Evora
One of Cesaria Evora's most famous sayings is "Mindelo is a little Brazil". Brazilians are known all around the world for their dancing, partying and lifestyle in general. Cape Verdeans have these same quality's. Especially Mindelo is known to have a population that loves a good party.
According to Germano Almeida, one of Cape Verde's best authors, this comes from a time where the island of São Vicente was hardly populated, and Mindelo was just a small town where people would pass by on business. Making it the perfect place to enjoy a night of partying before returning home.
The 'chaos' of Avenida Marginal
Avenida Marginal, along the boulevard is where most people go to welcome the new year. It can get pretty crazy, but in a fun way. A lot of people honor the tradition of jumping in the ocean, no matter how chilly it can get.
City Hall puts up a great fireworks show, which normally lasts for at least 10 minutes. The music plays, people jump and dance, cars honking while driving by. Definitely not to miss if your in Mindelo on the night of the 31st.
Don't miss the municipal band on the 1st!
Another lovely old tradition that shows a beautiful side of Mindelo. A place where people make time for each other, where happiness is life and the motto seems to be 'make love and not war'. This is the vibe during the tradition of following the municipal band around town on the 1st of January.
Some party people stay up all night, in order not to miss a minute of the ongoing celebration of New Year. The band makes a few stops were they are greeted with food, drinks and tips. Usually the start of the route is Praça Nova, around 11:00. The municipal band plays all day long, until night time.
Rua de Lisboa hosts an amazing show
You can really feel the built up around the city centre in Mindelo from the moment they start to put up the stage on Rua de Lisboa. The main street of the city always hosts the biggest events and New Year's Eve is one of the most important nights of the year in Mindelo.
City Hall always invites at least one International star to headline the show. This year (2017) the very popular guys from Calema will hit the stage for an unforgettable party.
Everybody becomes an artist
Singing Senhor Sansilvestre is a beautiful and old Cape Verdean tradition that comes from a time when life was so much different in Mindelo. Times when the city was just a small town where everybody knew each other and today's technology was so far away. Life in Mindelo in these days was focused around the famous Praça Nova in the city centre.
Although of course it's done much less than 10 or 20 years ago, kids and even adult groups still hit the streets and go door to door to sing Senhor Sansilvestre. If you happen to see these 'artists' around, enjoy the 'show', and make sure to give a little holiday tip.
Buy your party tickets on time
For people looking to party at a (semi) indoor event, with food and drinks included, these type of parties will be organized all over Mindelo. Right after Christmas the hunt for the tickets seem to be the main topic around town.
Make sure to buy your tickets on time if you're in town early. Many of the popular party's sell out on the day of the 31th. Tickets often are around CVE 2.000 (€ 20). Not that much for a quality open bar New Year's Eve party.