One of the most famous holidays in Brazil is the Brazilian Carnival. It is an annual festival held 40 days prior to Easter and lasts for 4 days. It begins on a Saturday and ends on Fat Tuesday. It is such a special holiday because instead of celebrations, observing someone famous in history, it is a celebration for the people as a nation.
Since there are so many varied cultures in Brazil, the Brazilian Carnaval is represented differently through the regions. Costumes, music and participation vary from city to city. The largest and most well known Carnaval is that in Rio de Janeiro. The festivities not only provide entertainment but it teaches of the different cultures. People dance, sing and party all day and night. The Brazilian Carnaval actually begins by the city’s mayor crowning the Fat King with a giant gold and silver key.
The favelas, the poorest neighborhood, full of slum houses made of cardboard and other scraps are one of Rio de Janeiro’s most involved groups in the Carnaval. No matter how hard off they are they still find happiness in celebrating what little they have been blessed with. The Brazilian Carnaval brings cultures together to have fun and appreciate each other. Social boundaries disappear and gays and drag queens come out to cross dress.
The concept of the Brazilian Carnaval was started by the Portuguese but the practice of masquerade parties developed from Paris. Over time, cultures of Brazil meshed and elements of African and Italian cultures were added. When it originally began the people would parade through the streets dancing and playing music. Brazilians use to riot the Carnaval until the Government finally accepted it. The black slaves were allowed to be free for three days and participate in celebrations and the festivities still mean just as much to the poorer people now as they did when slavery was still practice.
Although the Brazilian Carnaval in the streets is free, accommodations for tourists can be as costly as one might expect. Rooms are booked far in advance and due to such high rates many local people of Brazil rent out their apartments or a privacy room.
Visiting Brazil and experiencing this festival is an event that can’t be duplicated anywhere in the world. You will be loved by all and learn great cultural traditions. Be prepared to party with people from all walks of life and have the time of your life. You will eat some of the finest cuisine in the world and be able to appreciate the detail of the amazing costumes. There are reasons why the Brazilian Carnaval is one of the most celebrated events in the world.