Today is the first day of the annual 4 day Carnaval festival in Brazil. For many Brazilians it is the biggest party time of the year, and many people party and drink as much as they possibly can. And there are the traditional Carnaval shows that nearly every city has, which features different Samba schools putting on a parade like show of music and dancing. The Samba schools compete for the bragging rights of which team is the best in the show. The most famous Carnaval celebration is in Rio de Janeiro, and it is televised on Brazilian TV. Many of the costumes are very colorful, and parts of it are very interesting. Other parts are not so good, as some of the costumes can be quite skimpy and racy, with some partial nudity thrown in.
For Christians here, it is one of the worst times of the year, because of some of the behavior and problems during Carnaval. Many churches have retreats or camps during Carnaval in the country. For us on the coast, it means that thousands and thousands of people will be coming from Sao Paulo to escape the big city. It brings more traffic problems, more garbage on the beach, much higher crime rates during the 4 days, and other related problems. The traffic jams in Sao Paulo on Friday and Saturday for Carnval are massive, and there are miles of stalled traffic on the various highways leading out of the city. Yesterday Sao Paulo registered 120 miles of traffic jams in the city.
Another quirky thing about Brazil is that many people here do not want to work much between Christmas and Carnaval, and it can be hard to get things done until after. I guess I am not much of a fan of Carnaval, and I will be glad when it is over.
the mass exodus from Sao Paulo to the beaches
some Carnaval photos that are suitable for posting