The city of Salvador in Brazil has a translation of “Holy Savior of all Saints.” For a long time the city was simply known as Bahia, however is more often now referred to as Salvador. Bahia, located on the Northeastern coast in Brazil is known as the “capital of happiness.” The city has a reputation of its dwellers to be extremely laid black, happy and throwing constant parties and celebrations. After São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Salvador is ranked the third most popular city in Brazil.
Bahia is the wealthiest metropolitan area in the Northeast region of Brazil which simultaneously is the poorest region. It is recognized for its music, cuisine and architecture. This city is the core of the Afro-Brazilian culture due to over 80% of its population being of African ancestry.
The city finds its home on a small peninsula that is the separation point of Todos os Antos Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major export location for Brazil as well. Salvador dá Bahia was the first capital city of Brazil until 1763 but still to this day remains a high tourist area for its original culture. The coastline of Bahia is one of the longest in Brazilian cities hosting 31 miles of beaches. The beaches range from calm waters for swimming, diving, sailing and fishing as well as open sea areas with strong waters for some for the best surfing in the world. In 2007, the Porla da Barra Beach was rated third best beach in the world. The city contains four very large protected parks that are also an enormous draw for tourist attention, homing large varieties of plants and animals.
Bahia’s local cuisine relies strongly on African ingredients. They use the milk from coconuts to prepare large varieties of seafood dishes. In the restaurants, foods such as stews, sarapatal and fried dishes are served daily. They use palm tree oil in much of their cooking which was brought originally from West Africa during colonial times.
Capoeira plays a huge role in Brazilian culture originating primarily from this area. This is an artistic mix of dance, music and martial arts. The origin of this dance was to uplift the spirits of the slaves’ morale. The Capoeira was banned in 1892 and there were server penalties for those caught still practicing the act. The people of Brazil fought to preserve this part of their culture and the Capoeira was made legal in 1937.
The Guinness Book of Records has called the Carnaval of Salvador dá Bahia the largest street party in the world. Over two million people party in the streets during this event that begins on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday where 60-foot-long trucks carry dancers and performers through the crowds. The Salvador Summer Festival is another event you do not want to miss in this city. It is a five day music extravaganza that happens yearly in Brazil.
Bahia holds a reputation also for producing musical instruments with a unique sound. They only use raw materials in all of their work like straw, clay, wood, beads, leather and shells. Handcrafted Brazilian art is a huge touristic attention grabber in this city. Whether you are coming to visit Salvador dá Bahia for its beaches, museums or sports, you are sure to fall in love with, and be welcome by the culture of the city’s people.