Brazil: Holidays & Leisure                                                 

  • Brazil’s most famous festival is carnaval which starts at midnight on the Friday before the Catholic holy day called Ash Wednesday. Carnival last five days but often celebrations last longer. Carnaval celebrations usually entail an endless parade of costumed samba dancers and masked characters. It is celebrated all over Brazil. However, the carnaval in Rio de Janeiro (below) is the most glitzy and touristy and is a fantastic spectacle!
  • The top samba schools each have their moment of glory in the sambódromo where they parade their own samba school’s unique dance choreography, music, and costumed theme which changes every year. It is a noisy sweaty, and crazy competition that cannot be missed!


  • Sports are quite popular in Brazil. The most popular is football (or American soccer) and is considered a cultural phenomenon. Besides football, other sports that are popular in Brazil include: foot volley, tennis, basketball, auto racing and beach volleyball.

Foot Volley on Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

  • A uniquely Brazilian sport is capoeira (photo). It is a combination of a martial art and dance. It originates from the Northeast of Brazil and includes many African instruments such as the berimbao (long stick-­‐like instrument in the photo to the left and right below).