There are 5 days that Rio de Janeiro is the happiest. One day is the “Reveilon” night or the New Year evening celebrations, and the other four are during Carnival in February (sometimes in March). The largest thematic party in the world is made up of cariocas (nickname for someone from Rio) and many other folks over the world.
Carnival in Brazil is not only in Rio, but actually in all of Brazil! The greater party of course is in Rio together with Salvador (Bahia), as well as Olinda and Recife (Pernambuco). These are the three most important Carnival cities or “hot spots” to be in during the biggest Brazilian Party of the year – “full flavor” rhythm mixed with harmonic and energetic heartbeats.
The party of Carnival in Brazil is something really different for non-Brazilians and in particular, for those who never have been to Brazil to join the world’s largest party. “Carnaval” as Brazilians call it, shows different aspects of the colorful, hedonistic bacchanalia that give to you a sensation of a dream.
Carnival is a wild 4-day celebration forty days before Easter. This year Carnival officially starts on Saturday, February 25th and ends on Fat Tuesday, March 1st with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. The month of February is hot in all Southern Hemisphere, and when Brazil’s summer is at its peak!
A piece of Brazil in California
But here in California, we also have Brazilian Carnaval parties and celebrations in many cities from San Diego to San Francisco. Brazilians living in California, from samba dancers and capoeiristas to musicians and producers bring a bit of the “sabor” of Brazil’s carnaval to the golden state. In San Diego we have by tradition, the Brazilian Carnaval night produced by Cristina Portela; in Los Angeles we have two different options and also by tradition, the Brazilian Carnaval produced by Ariel del Mundo and the one produced by Patricia Leao/Brazilian Nites.
In San Francisco, we have the Brazilian Carnaval bowl promoted by Tuka and his partners that also is a tradition, and with more than twenty years. It is good to reminder that the “California Riviera”, the city of Santa Barbara, also had its Brazilian Carnaval Fest annually from 2002 and 2014.
It was a three days Brazilian Festival where the focus was the dissemination of Brazilian Culture through different arts forms including a film screening and arts exposure, besides the “Carnaval Bowl Party”. The “carnaval cultural” in Santa Barbara was founded by Soul Brasil’s publisher, Lindenberg Junior. It was put in hold in 2014 for different reasons.
The “Santa Barbara Brazilian Carnaval” continues supporting and have connections with “Bloco Carnaval”, founded by master capoeirista Mariano Silva, that performer during the famous Santa Barbara Solstice Parade(opening summer parade). The “Carnaval Bloco” is one of the main attractions of Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade bring together the Brazilian rhythms to the streets of downtown Santa Barbara and featuring drummers, capoeiristas, samba dancers and the Santa Barbara Brazilian Carnival Queen.