People are fascinated by the Brazil Carnaval: the floats, the dancers, the music. It is Brazil’s largest festival, and last year in Rio alone drew in 4.9 million people. However, while many people attend the lavish celebrations in the bigger cities, Brazil is a huge country with almost 195 million people, diverse in their traditions and customs. I asked some Brazilian friends how little kids celebrate Carnaval in Brazil.
Lilian: “Carnaval in Brazil is as diverse as the population and customs in the country. In my area little kids enjoyed Carnaval in a similar way to our Halloween in the US, although the emphasis was on dressing up (and nothing scary for the most part). There was music in country clubs and we would dance Brazil carnaval songs: marchinhas de carnaval. This probably still goes one in small towns. Parades in the streets are also very common and you may end up joining a group and dancing away behind your “carro alegorico” (the float that leads your group) all day and night long sometimes. One time I went to the beach, in the northeast area, and the only thing happening where I was, were ” luaus” at the beach at night with music.
So each area of Brazil may have their more typical hits and songs. The music during carnaval in Rio is not the same as the northeast area, or the south. For a lot of families in Brazil carnaval is a time to travel with family, go the beach and enjoy the long holiday. Some take a chance to stay away from the commotion and retrieve in weekend houses with friends, like my family. After all, it’s a big long holiday enjoyed to fit each ones’ tastes.
This may be confusing, but I really don’t like stereotypes. When people think about Brazil Carnaval, they tend to have this very set idea of one crazy, wild party, with semi-naked women.”
Dani: “I agree 100% with Lilian! I grew up in a family that always enjoyed parties. Therefore I spent my childhood going to Carnaval in private clubs where they have an afternoon party for kids and then one at night for adults. As I grew I started to get “itchy” and wanted to travel more… to the northeast, Rio, Minas Gerais… in each place, there is a different atmosphere, with music parties…
For the kids, it is just music, dance, and we throw confetti and “serpentinas” (see photo).”
Here are some scenes of kids enjoying Brazil Carnaval. Even if you don’t speak Portuguese, you can enjoy the costumes and music and adorable kids!