Being the largest country in South America, Brazil has a reputation that cannot be beat. With an entire coast devoted to a unique beach culture, you are always expected to have a great time. If you are about to embark on your Brazilian journey, here are several things that you must make time for:
- Beaches - As already mentioned the beach culture that exists in Brazil is one-of-a-kind. You may already be familiar with the scantily-clad women of these beaches, but the fun doesn’t stop there. The Copacabana beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world, which means it’s a must-see! With 8000km of coastline, there is a beach for everyone whether you want to enjoy the golden beaches, swim with the fish, or eat beachside.
- Festivals - If you haven’t heard about the incredible beaches in Brazil, then hopefully you have heard about their famous festivals. The most widely known festival is Carnival. Carnival is a six day festival that occurs on the Friday through Tuesday before Lent. Historically, it celebrates the removal of meat from the diet. The tradition is a mixture of Catholicism, pagan celebrations, and African-Brazilian culture. Streets are filled with decorative costumes, dancing, and singing. The country pretty much stops for a week to take part in this festival. The largest celebrations are located in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Vitoria. Other Brazilian festivals include Semana Santa and Oktoberfest.
- Food - Brazilian cuisine has strong European and African influences due to waves of colonization and slave trade. The cuisine certainly varies by region. Towards the 20th century, there developed a Japanese influence on food as well. Popular dishes include rice and beans, pasta, spanish tapas, and risotto. It is quite common for there to be more than three meals a day. Brazilians are known for having breakfast, morning snack, midday dinner, night dinner, and late supper. If you are around for it, definitely look into Brasil Sabor, a country-wide food festival. An inexpensive dining option that is often available is paying by the kilo - essentially load your plate up with all the food you plan on eating.
- Sports - Football, also known as Soccer in America, is taken very seriously in Brazil. During the World Cup, it is common for workers to stop what they are doing to see their team play. Even banks shut down before the game starts in order to watch the sport. Upcoming sporting events include: the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, so definitely try to plan your trip with those in mind.
- Sightseeing - Although there are many more things to do, there are plenty of wonderful things to see while you are in Brazil. Some of which include Christ the Redeemer statue, Iguassu falls, parks and zoos, Sugar Loaf Mountain, estadio do maracana, and so much more. Be sure to enjoy every landscape you see and keep your eyes open to all experiences.