February in Brazil

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.

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January in Brazil

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.

Happy New Year!!!

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.

Getting Ready For Christmas: A Family Night

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I celebrate Christmas with my parents. It’s great to be together on such night because it’s a family night in which we exchange gifts and have a delicious meal. We say a prayer, sing Christmas songs and eat  when the clock strikes midnight. We talk, play games and then we go to bed very late. It’s so great because the next day we can stay in bed and relax. Because we get up late, we eat the previous night´s left overs. I love Christmas!!!!

Count Down For Christmas: Cooking a Feast

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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.

MENU FOR CHRISTMAS NIGHT:
 
STARTER:
A Cold Buffet & Shrimp Cocktail
 
MAIN COURSE:
Roast Turkey with Gravy & Rice with Raisins
 
SIDE DISHES:
Farofa & Potato Salad
 
DESSERT:
Milk Pudding

Count Down for Christmas: Shopping

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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.

Count Down for Christmas: Setting Up The Tree

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We start decorating the tree on November 30th. The Church suggests that we do it during the four weeks that preceed Christmas, little by little. In some families, children decorate the tree and are taught the real meaning of such important night. Traditionally, the tree is left up until January 6th, which is the day when the three kings found Jesus.

Count Down for Christmas: Going Through Christmas Stuff

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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?

November in Brazil

On November 2nd, we honor our late family members by visiting cemeteries all over the country. We take flowers to decorate the graves of beloved ones and candles to be lit. We also pray and reflect about life and its shortness. On November 15th, we celebrate the Proclamation of the Republic. Schools don´t open and we don´t work either. We don’t do anything special on this day. It´s a day to rest and have fun with family and friends.