In Brazil, the number one holiday in February is Carnaval, which is deemed the largest collective party in the entire world. It´s a five-day holiday, that´s right, a five-day holiday in which people go away, relax and have fun. A traditional activity during this period is getting together to sing and dance. In different parts of Brazil, the musical style during carnaval ranges from regional folk music to the carioca samba. ” Foliões”, which is how the people who participate in the celebration are called, either travel to the coast or go to Rio and Sao Paulo to see the samba schools´ parades. Each school presents a theme and parade accordingly and during the parade, a group of jurors analyse and grade every aspect of it, from the clothes they wear to the music they play. The parades officially start out in São Paulo on Friday and Saturday. The two parades take place in Anhembi and are broadcast live to all viewers. On Sunday and Monday, it´s Rio´s schools’ turn to astonish the viewers with their costumes, props and ornamented cars. Sapucaí is the place chosen for such monumental event, which is also broadcast live to anyone who´s willing to see it. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the results come out and Rio and Sao Paulo´s winning schools celebrate their victory with the Winners´ Parade, also broadcast live. Every year, carnaval is held in February. However, this year it´s from March 1st to March 5th, which is pretty unusual. Still, brazilians love it because any reason is a reason to sing and dance, even when the date is not right.
In Brazil, January is usually a period for vacationing. After New Year’s Day though, many people continue working normally. School term, however, only starts in February. This year in particular, because the World Cup will be held here, school term will start late January. Apart from New Year’s Day and Peace Day, both on January 1st, there are no other significant celebrations this month.
In Brazil, we celebrate New Year’s by wearing white clothes and having a delicious meal at the strike of midnight. At midnight, we also gather to see the fireworks on the street and the fireworks the mainstream TV stations broadcast from different parts of the world. We stay up until the crack of dawn playing games, talking, drinking and eating a lot. The next day, we wake up very late and eat the left overs for lunch.
Click on the picture to see how Super Duper’s festivities went.
In Brazil, we usually have a feast that is prepared throughout the day and served at eleven o’clock p.m. However, some families wait until midnight, so they can eat. Turkey is a must on Christmas night. Traditionally, we also have “farofa” (toasted manioc flour), rice and potato salad.
In Brazil, many people are still drawn to shopping at Christmas time. At least among the people I know, exchanging gifts is a solid tradition and I don’t see it ending any time soon. However, Brazil still is a catholic country, so lots of people go to the church on Christmas night for a two-hour celebration in order to remind themselves of the real meaning of this date.
Streets, stores and houses have been decorated, trees have been set up, lights have been lit, feasts have been thought through and presents have been bought. We’re all waiting for the most important holiday of all and it’s time for me to start sorting out the ornaments for our Christmas tree. How about you? Have you started prepping for Christmas yet?