22 February 2009

Carnival in São Paulo

In Brazil, Carnival is the most exciting relevant annual event which takes place in February or beginning of March. In fact, in Brazil, traditionally, it is celebrated from Saturday until Tuesday, before Ash Wednesday. Its origins are controversial: it is said that the Festival started in Greece, other sources of information say that it started in Portugal where people threw eggs and fair to eachother. Anyway, in 2005, Carnival of Bahia (in the northeast) was considered the biggest “Festival of street” in the world by Guinness Book. While Bahia is famous for “Carnival of street”, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo there is a big parade in a special closed street, Sambódromo, with a series of flat areas cut out of a hill like wide steps where people watch the event. In the beginning of 20th Century there were small groups of people in the streets. However, nowadays, there are big well-organized Schools of Samba formed of 5000 people (each School of Samba) that compete eachother to win the first position as the School of Samba which are Big Organizations where participants work for love and dedication.Moreover, they work free of charge, all year, for the joy of one night owing to the fact that the apresentation of each School of Samba takes about 1 hour.Preparations start months before the event. Participants pay for their own special clothes which must be designed and sewed according to the lyric of song of the School of Samba and the central theme, as well. As far as the central themes are concerned, there are many interesting ones such as “Immigration”, “Discovery of Brazil”, “Recycling”. All the decoration of the big cars called Carros Alegóricos, BIG OPEN LORRY, are designed according to the central theme. Moreover, rehearsals start in October when participants are organized, divides in smaller groups to perform samba in Carnival. Although audience have to pay to see the parade, some tickets for special covered rooms called camarotes which are private rooms for 10 or 20 people where you can see the parade comfortably, with food, table, chairs, table, can cost 8.000 Dollars (per night).Anyway, Carnival brings millions of Reais (Real is the coin of Brazil) because of tourism. It was said that about $521 million comes into the city economy.Who never heard about Carnival of Rio de Janeiro? Unfortunately, Carnaval is, sometimes, connected with topics such as beautiful women wearing few clothes. In addition to this, there are special parties in the afternoon for kids in some clubs in the city and special parties in Night Clubs where people can dance samba all night. All in all, São Paulo is quiet and calm tonight. Many people enjoy these days setting off. Beaches are crowded. Nevertheless, city empty, no sound in my usually busy street, marvellous to go to the cinema, to go to the restaurant in. No queues, just PEACE!


Nick James said...

Sounds fun!

Deedee said...

Enjoy Mardi Gras/Carnaval!

Dave King said...

Could do with a bit of something like that!