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Carnival reveals the soul of Brazil

March 4, 2011

Walk2gether will visit CFCA’s project in Mineiros, Brazil, and conduct a small solidarity walk through the city streets. Right now Brazil is celebrating Carnival, which is five days before Ash Wednesday, the onset of Lent. This year, Carnival takes place from March 4 to 8. Eutimia Neves, coordinator of CFCA's Mineiros office in Brazil, sent this report about Carnival.

In Brazil

For Brazilians, Carnival is a time to party. It is the most important festival in the country. People forget the social status to which they belong — rich and poor, artists and street sweepers. This is a party for everyone.

The samba schools of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; the frevo of Recife; and the Carnival of Bahia not only choreograph movements that reveal the agility and charm of the people, but also reveal the richness of the Brazilian soul and its beauty.

The people who participate in the samba school parades dress fantastically according to the theme of the school. But most people wear T-shirts and Bermuda shorts.

Music is the heart of Carnival

In Brazil, the samba schools have parades in the south and southeast cities in a competition to elect the best as the champion. Carnival bands parade through the street, and people come to enjoy the carnival spirit.

Liliana and family in Brazil
Liliana and her three daughters, sponsored through
CFCA's Hope for a Family program, enjoy taking
part in Brazil's Carnival.

Carnival dances take place in private clubs and public areas. In these places they dance to samba, “axé” (prounounced “ah-zay”), “frevo” and “maracatu,” all popular Brazilian music genres. In Mineiros, the rhythm of Carnival is mostly axé.

The Mineiros project does not organize Carnival festivities for the sponsored children and aging and their families. The festival can be expensive. It is animated by many musical bands, which is also costly.

CFCA families who like Carnival enjoy themselves with the rest of the city: the adults at night, and the children and teenagers in the afternoons.

Liliana has three daughters sponsored through the CFCA Hope for a Family program in Mineiros: Rafaela, 14; Carla, 9; and Adriellen, 7.

“My family celebrates Carnival in the public areas, which this year will be in the street and plaza of the Lake Canto del Cerrado,” Liliana said. “The festival will have groups and bands of musicians contracted by the governor of Mineiros. Everyone in my family likes Carnival. ... For them it is a very enjoyable and fun party.”

Some Brazilians don’t participate in Carnival music, festivities or costumes. Even though there is supervision, large crowds make it difficult to control, especially in the streets.

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