Entertainment

12 Reasons The Brazil Carnival Should Be On Your Bucket List

Forty days before Easter, Brazil draws in people from around the world to celebrate its biggest party: Carnaval. The Brazil Carnival is, without a doubt, one of the biggest events in the world, full of people wanting to live, eat and breathe the party atmosphere that takes over the country for a whole week. From the over the top costumes to its insanely fun block parties, it’s an event that should be on everyone’s bucket list and here’s why:

1. Brazilians are some of the friendliest people on earth.

Credit: Bee or bear /  Flickr

No matter where you go in the country, Brazilians are welcoming and warm. Most of the locals you’ll meet during the Brazil Carnival are generally accepting of tourists, but make sure you understand their playful, sometimes sarcastic, humor or you’ll be left out of the conversation.

2. It’s an authentic cultural experience.

Credit: Pré Carnaval /  Flickr

Although the Brazil Carnival has garnered worldwide fame, it still stays true to its original spirit. The celebrations begin on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and finish on that day, marking the beginning of Lent.

Credit: Orange Blur /  Flickr

Because of this, many Catholics abstain from consuming meat. The word carnival stems from carnelevare, or “to raise meat,” and refers to these days of epic celebration.

3. It’s considered the biggest party in the world.

Credit: @pearlluxe / Instagram

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Brazil Carnival is considered the world’s largest carnival. With parties happening day and night, the country comes together to celebrate in epic proportions.

Credit: Digital Image /  Flickr

It’s believed that almost 2 million people a day take part in the festivities and, in 2011, the Rio de Janeiro celebrations brought in an estimated 4.9 million people alone. From ticketed events to street parties, the country really goes wild with excitement.

4. There are celebrations scattered all throughout Brazil.

Credit: Encontro de Maracatus e Carnaval Mesclado /  Digital Image

Although the Rio de Janeiro carnival might be the most popular with foreigners, celebrations take place all around the country.

Credit: Partido Brasil Noreste /  Digital Image

From Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo to Salvador to Bahia, every region has a special way of celebrating during the Brazil Carnival, and each city brings a special something to the party. Whether it’s different music, costumes or events, you’re sure to be surprised no matter where you go.

5. Samba is KING!

Credit: Digital Image /  Flickr

One of the most popular music genres in the country, samba remains king of the carnaval. Once considered as slave music, the genre has developed over the years and is nowadays closely associated with the Brazil Carnival.

Credit:  @ticketriocarnaval / Instagram

Deeply rooted in African culture, street parades and special performances are all choreographed to the beat of the drums that enthuse dancers and spectators alike. It’s impossible to sit still once the music starts playing, and you’ll be shimmying along with the dancers before you’ve made it out of the hotel.

6. A visit to the Sambódromo might cost a small fortune…

Credit: Vila Isabel. Digital Image. Flickr. February 20, 2012.

Rio de Janeiro’s Sambódromo is arguably the most representative thing about the Brazil Carnival. The arena hosts the most iconic events, and the seats are filled to the brim with Cariocas (locals) and foreigners alike who want to catch a display of pure samba talent.

Credit: Vila Isabel /  Digital Image

That being said, scoring a ticket to the Sambódromo during the festivities is definitely not easy or cheap: It can set you back almost $1,600 for one of the “Luxury Suites”. With Carnival Sunday and Monday being the busier days, your best bet at snagging a ticket is on Saturday.

7. …but the shows are unbelievably worth it!

Credit: Mocidade 3 /  Flickr

Nonetheless, buying a ticket is definitely worth it for the sheer talent of the dancers alone. The dance shows are an incredible example of the work, money, and energy that go into preparing a performance of this caliber, and the performers leave it all on stage.

Credit:  @salgueiroraiz / Instagram

It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience, made all the better thanks to the energy of the locals who dance along too. Being at the Sambódromo is truly an immersion of culture, and it’s a must-do for anyone visiting Brazil at the time.

8. You can watch samba schools compete for a shot at the crown. 

 

Credit: Passista da Portela. Digital Image. Flickr. February 25, 2012.

More than a stage to show off their talent, the shows at the Sambódromo are also a competition – a very fierce one. Samba schools are similar to sports teams, and they compete against each other during carnaval to be crowned champion.

Credit: @carnavalsperj / Instagram

Samba schools are judged on their dances, music, costumes, and their parade float. Each performance lasts up to an hour and, depending on the size and fame of the school, can cost millions of dollars to organize and produce. Talk about high stakes!

9. The costumes are unlike anything else you’ll ever see.

Credit: @caarolinaribeeiro / Instagram

The Brazil Carnival has always been closely associated with scantily-clad women wearing huge headdresses and rhinestones that move to the rhythm of the music. While this might be true, there’s a lot more that goes into these outfits.

Credit: Purple for the Camera / Flickr

While part of the costume is sewn with a machine, most beads, feathers, and accessories are all usually made by hand. A typical carnival outfit can range anywhere from $200 – $1,500 depending on the detail and complexity of the attire. While it’s nice to feel like a local, we recommend going for the cheaper option: beads, wigs and maybe a few feathers. There’s no actual dress code, so don’t worry about not splashing out.

10. There’s plenty of Instagrammable moments.

Credit: @carnavalsp_ / Instagram

In today’s digital era, capturing the moment has become an essential part of our daily lives. If you went to the Brazil Carnival but didn’t post about it on social media, did you actually go? While the answer is obviously yes, there are still plenty of camera-worthy moments waiting to be captured.

Credit: @carnavalsp_ / Instagram

From the eccentric costumes to the street parties, passing through the giant parade floats and the iconic carnival-women, the Brazil Carnival is a photographer’s dream.

11. Missing out on blocos will give you serious fomo.

Credit: Munguzá do Zuza e Bacalhau do Batata /  Flickr

Even though the sambódromo might seem like the star of the show, there are plenty of other celebrations happening around the country that don’t require a ticket. Tourists and locals alike can show up to blocos, or block parties, wherever they are.

Credit: Bloco da Cidadania /  Flickr

These events usually involve a truck, huge speakers, and extremely loud samba music blasting through them. Being outside and on the street, these parties are generally more relaxed than the other carnival events, and usually, everything goes. Rio, for example, hosts no less than 587 blocos a year that cater to everyone:  it’s a party based around the principle of acceptance, love, and the desire to have a great freakin’ time.

12. It’s an experience you’ll always remember.

Credit: Bloco Eu acho é pouco /  Flickr

With all its colors, sounds and smells, the Brazil Carnival is truly a once in a lifetime event. If you’re one of the lucky ones that do get to be a part of it, take it all in — even the low moments. Keep an eye on your valuables, stay close to your travel buddies and stay aware of your surroundings. Carry only what you need for the day and make the most of it without having to worry about a case of curious fingers.

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A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

Culture

A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

ricardostuckert / Instagram

Indigenous tribes are the most important connection between man and nature. These tribes have lived off the land before modern society and many have never interacted with modern society. Ricardo Stuckert is going through and documenting the indigenous Amazonian tribes in Brazil.

Ricardo Stuckert is photographing indigenous tribespeople in the Brazilian Amazon.

The indigenous community is something sacred that most people agrees should be protected. They are more connected to the land than we are. Their customs and traditions are more ingrained in this world than ours are and it is so important to protect them.

The indigenous community of Brazil has been subjected to horrible attacks and conditions from the Brazilian government.

One of the most widespread attacks against the indigenous Brazilians living in the Amazon has been for the land. President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to take land away from the indigenous communities to allow for logging and mining. A bill he sent to the congress sought to exploit the land for commercial purposes, even legalizing some of the attacks we have seen on indigenous people since President Bolsonaro took power.

Stuckert wants to preserve the indigenous culture and customs through photos.

“I think it is important to disseminate Brazilian culture and show the way that native peoples live today,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “In 1997, I started to photograph the Amazon and had my first contact with the native people of Brazil. Since then, I have tried to show the diversity and plurality of indigenous culture, as well as emphasize the importance of the Indians as guardians of the forest. There are young people who are being born who have never seen or will see an Indian in their lives.”

The photographer believes that using photography is the best way to share culture.

“I think that photography has this power to transpose a culture like this to thousands of people,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “The importance of documentary photojournalism is to undo stigmas and propagate a culture that is being lost. We need to show the importance of indigenous people to the world, for the protection of our forests.”

You can see all of Stuckert’s photos on his Instagram.

Stuckert’s work to documented the indigenous community is giving people an insight into a life many never see. Brazil is home to about 210 million people with around 1 million having indigenous heritage. The diverse indigenous community of Brazil is something important to showcase and that’s what Stuckert is doing.

READ: Indigenous Photographer Diego Huerta’s Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous People Celebrates Their Beauty

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Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

Fierce

Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

BUDA MENDES / GETTY IMAGES

There’s no denying the fact that the female form, and it’s bits, in particular, have inspired artwork the world over. Tarsila do Amaral was inspired by it. Frida Kahlo and artists like Zilia Sánchez and Marta Minujín too. Women’s bodies are inspired and so they inspire. Still, a recent unveiling of vulva artwork has become so controversial and made people so besides themselves that it seems many have forgotten these truths about our bodies.

Over the weekend, Brazilian visual artist Juliana Notari revealed her latest sculptureDiva, on a hillside at Usina del Arte. The art park is located in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco and is described by Notari as “a massive vulva / wound excavation.”

The massive sculpture created on the hillside located in northeastern Brazil features a bright pink vulva and has fueled what is being described as a cultural war.

Notari created Diva, a colorful 108-foot concrete and resin sculpture on the site of a former sugar mill. The mill was converted into an open-air museum in Pernambuco state. Last week, when Notari debuted the installation she revealed it was meant to depict both a vulva and a wound while questioning the relationship between nature and culture in a “phallocentric and anthropocentric society.”

“These issues have become increasingly urgent today,” Notari wrote in a post shared to her Facebook page which was shared alongside a series of photos of the sculpture. According to NBC, it took a team of 20 artisans 11 months to build the entire concept.

No surprise, the piece of art sparked a wave of controversy on social media, with critics and supports debating its message and significance.

Over 25,000 users have commented on Notari’s Facebook post so far including leftists and conservatives. On the far-right, supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have also been vocal about their views of the product.

“With all due respect, I did not like it. Imagine me walking with my young daughters in this park and them asking … Daddy, what is this? What will I answer?” one user wrote in the Facebook section of the post.

“With all due respect, you can teach your daughters not to be ashamed of their own genitals,” a woman replied.

Olavo de Carvalho, an advisor to Bolsonaro, vulgarly criticized the piece on Twitter.

Notari, whose previous work has been displayed at various galleries explained on her Facebook page that she created the piece to comment on gender issues in general.

“In Diva, I use art to dialogue with…gender issues from a female perspective combined with a cosmopocentric and anthropocentric western society,” Notari shared on her post to Facebook. “Currently these issues have become increasingly urgent. After all, it is by changing perspective of our relationship between humans and nonhuman, that will allow us to live longer on that planet and in a less unequal and catastrophic society.”

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