Brazil holidays are very festive; the Brazilian people enjoy celebrations and certain holidays have special meaning for them.
If you choose to visit Brazil during one of their festivities, it can be helpful to understand the holidays and their traditions.
Brazil celebrates many of the same holidays as other countries, but they have their own traditions to make it a Brazilian special day. They also celebrate days that are uniquely Brazil and reflect the history of the country.
One of the most well-known and highly celebrated holidays anywhere in the world is Christmas. Brazil has their own way of celebrating the popular holiday that has been influenced by the many cultures that reside in the country.
One popular tradition is the Presepio. This is a nativity scene that is created throughout the country, especially in the northeastern part. It began during the seventeenth century and today the nativity scenes are set up in churches, homes, and even in stores through December.
The Brazilian people enjoy the folk play, "The Shepherds", only they change it to shepherdesses and the king is a gypsy who tries to kidnap the Christ Child.
Santa Claus has many different names throughout the countries of the world and in Brazil, he is known as "Papai Noel" who brings gifts. This is a fairly new tradition that began in the last century and became popular due to the media attention of the sixties and seventies.
Christmas dinner consists of turkey, colored rice, vegetables, and fruits. Many families have a special meal at midnight on Christmas while others attend midnight Mass. Other holiday foods include the famous German stolen and the Italian panetone.
Many families will attend Mass either in the afternoon on Christmas Eve or in the morning or afternoon on Christmas Day.
You will find gigantic Christmas trees of electric lights in cities like Rio and Sao Paulo. Fresh flowers also make popular decorations, along with glass balls. For more information see ouir Christmas in Brazil section.
The "Festival of the Divine" is an old Catholic holiday that is celebrated in many towns throughout Brazil. Most places recognize this holiday fifty days after Easter to commemorate Pentecost, which was the time when the Holy Ghost came to Jesus' apostles. The early Portuguese settlers brought the tradition with them to the new country.
The most well-known of the celebrations of Festa do Divino is in Paraty, a town along the coast south of Rio. It lasts an entire week and the food preparations involve everyone in the town. The Grand Finale is a procession and election of the leader of the next year's festival. The townspeople dress up in costumes as famous historical Brazilians.
Meals of meat are given to the poor and needy, and sweets are given to children. You can enjoy folk dances in the streets each day and processions of Holy Ghost flags. Brazil holidays are fun for locals and tourists alike.
Carnival is one of the most famous of Brazil holidays and is known all over the world. Tourists often pick this time of year to visit Brazil, but many of them do not know the origins of the holiday.
The holiday started out as a celebration before the Lent tradition of 40 days of fasting. The word is Latin and means “farewell to the flesh” and is a time known for enjoying food, music, and every other kind of frivolity before entering a time of reflection and sacrifice.
Rio has the most famous celebration in Brazil and one of the most well-known in the entire world. If you visit Rio during Carnival, you will see floats and thousands of dancers and musicians. The people are dressed in elaborate costumes and you will see sambas in the streets.
Salvador is another city known for its celebration of Carnival. It is very different than the one in Rio. It is a celebration of music, which begins at noon in the streets and continues until the next morning.
If you plan to visit during Brazil holidays, you will have to make plans ahead of time. This is especially true for Carnival when everything gets booked months in advance.
You can get a hotel right in the middle of the celebrations or find an apartment rental for a little more privacy.
The secret to finding the perfect place is to start looking months in advance and to book it before someone else does. A year ahead of the trip is not too early to start planning.
Prices can triple during Brazil holidays like Carnival, so keep that in mind when you are planning your trip. If saving money is your goal, you may want to consider places at a slight distance from the major celebrations.
If you want to get a hotel in the middle of the excitement, you will need to book far in advance. The Carnival parade seats can cost several hundreds of dollars and many other events will be quite expensive.
There will be parts of Brazil that are empty and shut down during holidays. In the busy areas, you will have to be aware of the thieves who will be out to profit at the expense of the tourists.
It will be important to know far enough in advance what you will need for entry to Brazil. If you need a visa, you will have to allow plenty of time for the visa to be issued before your scheduled trip.
Don't count on public transportation during some of the Brazil holidays, especially Carnival. Many businesses and services shut down during that time. Streets are also closed off, making travel difficult. Everything will be crowded with the vast number of people in the same area.
It can be an experience of a lifetime to take a trip during Brazil holidays, but it is important to plan ahead so you can enjoy the celebration. Brazil is a country that knows how to celebrate and enjoy life and this is not more evident than during their holidays.