Carnival in Brazil: It’s time to samba

As Carnival (or Carnaval in Portuguese) is upon us, now is a good time to write a little about it, even though it is a celebration that does little for me personally.

First off, Carnival is perhaps Brazil’s most important holiday and is certainly the longest.  Businesses tend to shut on Friday afternoon only to reopen at midday on Wednesday.  I still find this idea of going to work at lunchtime after 4 or 5 days of partying a strange concept although I suppose it does provide a little time to get over any hangovers.

The dates of Carnival weekend vary from year to year in the same fashion as Easter.  They are the last days to party before lent, meaning that Carnival celebrations are the weekend before Shrove Tuesday/Ash Wednesday.

Carnival – Rio de Janeiro

Carnival varies somewhat from city to city.  In Rio de Janeiro, the main event takes place at the Sambadromo, a 700m long avenue with spectator stands either side, on Sunday and Monday of the weekend between 9pm and approximately 3:50am.  Each day 6 different samba schools take their turn to parade along the avenue.  Each school has 3,000 to 5,000 people dressed in various costumes.  Additionally, each school usually has about 8 specially designed floats themed to the schools overall theme of the year.  You can find out a lot more here

Carnival in Rio

Carnival – Salvador

Perhaps the second most famous Carnival city is Salvador, where in true local style it starts on Thursday and carries on to Wednesday more or less all day and night long.  In Salvador they have many trios which are floats or trucks with bands/dancers that drive slowly around the city’s streets.  People can  follow a particular trio around, protected from the crowds by security guards, by buying a pass to become an abada. Another way is to buy a ticket in a camarote where you will have the comfort of food and drink.  The third way is to simply walk the streets and pavements.  This is called pipoca (usually translated as popcorn) and is the least comfortable and safe option.

Carnival Salvador

Other cities celebrate  may elect to celebrate Carnival on different days or even different weekends.  For example, Sao Paulo has a similar parade to Rio that takes place on Friday and Saturday.  Other cities, such as Belo Horizonte where I live, don’t have any major events, but instead have many smaller street parties or blocos, a smaller, less organised version of a trio.

Carnival Ouro Preto

Time to cool down in Ouro Preto 2012 – See more here

Another popular destination for Brazilians are the historic cities, such as world heritage listed Ouro Preto.  In Ouro Preto, most people stay in a ‘republic’ – a sort of dorm/hostel where facilities are shared among many.  The atmosphere is lively with various stages dotted around city’s cobbled roads and numerous churches. the .  It is a 4 or 5 day party with little sleep for most

28 February, 2014 | Written by Steve | Comments: Add comment

Watch this space

After an absence of nearly 3 years, the time has come to restart this blog…  I’ve decided to start writing about Brazil as a potential guide to anyone wishing to visit.  It will be my opinion which may differ from other’s views.

I welcome ideas for subjects  from anyone who comes across the site

21 February, 2014 | Written by Steve | Comments: Add comment

Our house in Tangará – second week

Saturday we went to our building site and we were a bit disappointed because nothing much had happened. The house was still there:

The workers had just started to remove the roof, especially of the two porches, but the rest was pretty much there. The septic tank (the concrete rings on the right side of the picture) was also where it was last time we’d been there.

But then, today everything was different. I was a bit shocked when I saw it:

The house was completely gone, and we were left we just a pile of rubble.

The first stage of the septic tank is installed (there are three stages), and now they are clearing the area where the new house is going to be.

And there is surely a lot to clear!

Next week we will have some of the pine trees closer to the house cut, in order to avoid future problems and also to have more sunlight getting to the area.

This is how the house is going to look like (hopefully!):

4 May, 2011 | Written by Eneida | Comments: 2 Comments

Tangará – our country house (under construction)

Some pics of the land we bought in December 2010 with an old house. These pictures were taken in July 2010, on one of the first time we went there.
View of the house when you come from the road

Other side of the house and porch

What used to be a home

The shed we are planning to keep

February 13th  2011 – we started to make some progress:

The newly cleaned road

Entrance to the house – where’s all that grass gone?

View from the other side

Steve after connecting the water pipes.

13 February, 2011 | Written by Eneida | Comments: Add comment

Brazil is calling You

Some of the beautiful places we see in Brazil:

16 July, 2010 | Written by Eneida | Comments: Add comment

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