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 It's Carnaval Time - Brazilian Style

Bailar! Bailar! Bailar!

From Rio to Sao Paulo and beyond they're dancing in the streets to the frenzied beat of the samba...

 


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WELCOME TO TINA'S GUIDE TO BRAZIL

'Bring your love and find your love at Brazil Carnaval' ran this provocative advertisement for what has long been called the greatest show on earth. What more encouragement do you need?

Putting our pre-lent chocolate binges firmly in the shade, Brazil has got partying down to a fine art.

Word has it that it all began with the ancient spring rites of the Romans and Greeks. The impulse was so strong that even the middle-ages energy of the catholic church failed to stamp out the Bacchanalian romps.

Then, when the Portuguese came to Brazil the Negro slaves took to it with gusto, throwing flour, water and any thing else they could get their hands on. Not to mention dressing up in their master's wigs and old shirts.

Today the frenzied egg and stink-bomb throwing has eased off but in the weeks leading up to Lent, the whole of Brazil still becomes more than a little unglued. Offices close, work ceases and the roads fill up as thousands of cars load up with people, beer and meat and head for the city, whilst the officials brace themselves.

Samba schools hit the streets of Rio de Janeiro, ever wilder, ever more glamorous as they compete for the coveted Carnaval prize. Themed floats push through the crowded streets, capturing the mood of a host of different subjects, from the agony of the still recent military dictatorship to the madcap mayhem of circuses.

Then, when the Portuguese came to Brazil the Negro slaves took to it with gusto, throwing flour, water and any thing else they could get their hands on. Not to mention dressing up in their master's wigs and old shirts...

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