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The Brazilian Carnival - Multifaceted And Unique
One of the biggest popular entertainments in the world was created by the fusion of European traditions with African rhythms. The celebration of carnival is a ritual that has over 10,000 years of existence. Carnaval, or carnival was born in Egypt. The word carnival is a derivative from the Latin words carnem levare or carnelevarium, which means "to abstain from meat". The tradition was passed through Greece and Rome, where it was adapted by the Catholic Church. When the Portuguese discovered and colonized Brazil in the 17th century, it was introduced as a very important part of the culture.

The Brazilian carnival is very dynamic and changes according to the State and region of the country. Here are the most notorious ones.

Carnival of Bahia

The main attraction of the Bahian carnival is the trios eletricos, the musicians who go through the city on top of truck platforms equipped with loudspeakers. They play axe, typical Bahian music so the people can dance. They also have the traditional street parties.

Carnival of Pernambuco

One of the most hallucinating rhythms of carnival first appeared here. It comes from the Portuguese word ferver, which means "to boil". When the people dance to this rhythm, they appear to be boiling en masse in the streets. This rhythm demands a lot of strength. There is also the maracatu and ciranda. The carnival of Olinda begins in the morning and ends in the evening. In Recife, carnival begins in the afternoon and goes all through the night.

Carnival of Rio de Janeiro

Beyond the carnival of the streets and the clubs are the escolas de samba, a group of people from the local communities who parade in carnival. Each group represents a theme (enredo) to the sound of and orchestra or band (bateria). The members wear costumes according to the theme. It is similar to an opera, and they become the biggest attraction at the carnival.

Carnival of Amazonas

As in Rio de Janeiro, there is a big parade of escolas de samba on a catwalk constructed especially for this purpose. It is the biggest one in the country. In Manaus, they adapted the costumes and rhythms to give them an indigenous style. This is called carnaboi. Beyond this, they also celebrate the Bumba-meu-boi, a traditional act that represents the kidnapping, death and resurrection of a bullock. This symbolizes the farming cycle.

Carnival of São Paulo

When the Paulista carnival began, it was restricted to the ballrooms across the city. Soon it came under the influence of the Carioca carnival and began to be celebrated in the streets. It emphasized the luxury of clothing, costumes and masks.

Carnival of Rio Grande do Norte

Resembling the carnival of Bahia, this carnival distinguishes itself by the rhythms, which include the axe, frevo and other sorts of music. This carnival attracts over one million people.
About the Author
Author of this article is Naldo Camaronez. To find more information and resources visit: South America Magazine.
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