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Bem-vindo ao Brasil! Welcome to Brazil, the largest country in South America blessed with vast rainforests, mega-diverse wildlife, and a vibrant, multiethnic population. Brazilians are renowned for their love of samba, soccer, and celebration. Home to over 210 million cheerful souls, Brazil's official language is Portuguese though Spanish, English, and other indigenous languages are also spoken. Roman Catholicism is the major religion.
Location of Brazil on the world map. Source: Wiki.
One of Brazil's most famous and rapturous festivals is Carnaval. Held annually before Lent, Carnaval embodies the lively spirit and traditions of the Brazilian people. From the wild revelry of Rio de Janeiro to the family-friendly parades of Olinda, Carnaval infuses the entire country with joy and celebration.
Carnaval dates back to 18th century Portuguese settlers who brought the European tradition of holding balls and masquerade parties before the austere weeks of Lent. The festival absorbed elements of native traditions like parades, costumes, and African-inspired rhythms to become an utterly Brazilian celebration.
Today, Carnaval is celebrated with unmatched passion and creativity. The highlight is the magnificent parade of Rio's samba schools featuring flamboyant floats, glittering costumes, pulsating music, and exuberant dancers. Up to 5 million happy visitors flock to Rio, crowding the streets, beaches, and ballrooms to feel the Carnaval magic.
Beyond Rio, each region celebrates with unique traditions. The vibrant street parades of Salvador feature a pulsating African beat. In Recife, Carnaval revelers dressed as skeletons symbolically mock death. Masked dancers in Ouro Preto reenact historic 17th century slave protests.
Visual showing Ouro Preto, aka the "Rich Village". Source: Wiki.
No matter where you go in Brazil, you’ll find city streets teeming with parades, parties, and pageantry. Music, dance, and cries of "Viva Carnaval!" fill the air. Brazilians spend months preparing elaborate costumes and floats for their big moment in the spotlight. When the celebrations finally arrive, they hold nothing back.
Brazil's Carnaval celebrations bring together over 1.5 million participants across the country each year. Locals and tourists alike forget their troubles and immerse in the collective joy. For a few days, there are no strangers - just friends celebrating life's pleasures together.
Carnaval gives Brazilians a chance to proudly display the incredible diversity of their history and culture on a grand stage. The synergistic mix of indigenous, African, and Portuguese traditions is weaved into every lively rhythm, elaborate costume, and colorful float.
Travelers from across the globe join Brazil's biggest party to experience this cultural gift to the world. Swaying to the rhythmic samba beats alongside locals dressed in magnificent finery makes for an unparalleled Brazil experience. Carnaval injects life with a spirit that lingers long after the festivities.
Carnaval reminds everyone that joy wins when we embrace community over isolation. As you dance cheek to cheek with fellow revelers, you remember that we need each other. For Carnaval in Brazil is not just a celebration, it is a state of mind that never fades.
Here is a video piece, courtesy of Euronews:
Until next time.
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