Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Other Side of Carnaval

When I arrived in Brazil, I wondered how we would spend the annual Carnaval holiday, and if there were alternatives. I expected partying in the streets, but aside from this made-up mental picture I honestly had no idea what it would be like.

As it turns out, there is an ever-growing portion of the Brazilian population who do not celebrate Carnaval - and it's not just the "evangelicos" [evangelicals]...

I don’t know if it's a Goiânia thing, but the Carnaval holiday weekend is when a lot of families get together at their farm, ranch, or holiday home along the river or lake. It reminds me of the 4th of July weekend celebrations back home.

Depending on the family, they may or may not engage in festive activities (party string/foam fights, fireworks, dancing, playing the guitar or other instruments, play games, etc.) ...or they may just use the days off for some serious R & R. There is usually a TV on somewhere, where someone may be watching the televised Carnaval processions, but that's about the extent of it.

Others who may not have the option or inclination to head out of town, may just use the downtime to catch up on sleep, listen to their favorite music (which they will stress is not Samba) and surf the internet. More and more, the younger generations will tell you that they don't identify with the Carnaval culture, but instead find the Hard Rock, Punk Rock, Emo, Hipster, and/or Alternative "tribos" [cliques] to be their thing.

Here are a couple of the various pics I've come across on facebook in the past month.

This is the first year we didn't go camping or fishing, and instead stayed with some friends out on their farm. In the evenings, friends & family came out for dinner, and stayed into the wee hours of the morning, just having a good time. Some days it was a lunch hour bar-b-que that lasted the rest of the day and into the night, but there really was no schedule... cell phones...

...and no internet...

Aside from the TV on in the distant background (for the teens & women interested in keeping up with their evening "novelas" [soap operas] followed by the live Carnaval celebration on Globo) it was a rare and relished opportunity to completely unplug and unwind.

I had the pleasure of roaming the farmlands in my man's truck, armed with my camera & my ipod. Words cannot express how perfect it was. Storm clouds would roll through the area late in the afternoons, which would be my cue to go in search of wide, open spaces. I found some quiet & far removed spots that the owner of the farm later insisted he had never even seen...

Not only was I finally able to "exhale," but inhaling the fresh outdoor air that I miss daily in the city left me feeling alllll riiiight.

Here's a glimpse of what my Carnaval vacation looked like. There's more to come, as I took 500+ pics. :)

(To enlarge photos, right-click and open in a new window.)


  1. That looks like my kind of Carnaval weekend!

  2. The pictures are gorgeous!! Glad you had a good carnaval weekend!! :)

  3. Meredith ~

    Agreed! I must say that it is the kind i prefer! :)

    Stephanie ~

    Thank you! :) I'm just glad i was able to capture those moments in time...

    I think it was the best Carnaval vacation, so far. Not only was the location great, but the hosts were so welcoming and friendly.

    Thanks for stopping by! :]

  4. Your Carnaval sounds remarkably like mine! Friends, relaxation and a bit of shaving cream fun out in the country.

    Best way to spend it in my opinion. Glad you had such a good time!

  5. Peg ~

    If i can spend every Carnaval this way, then it is indeed a 'season' to look forward to... (my new fave here in Brazil!!) I'm glad that yours was equally as fulfilling!

    Thank you for stopping by! :]


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