Maringá, BRAZIL– It’s Carnival time in Brazil, which means people are celebrating one of our biggest events. Brazilians and tourists are crowding the streets having some fun, dressed in creative customs, dancing and drinking a lot.
The 2011 animated movie Rio perfectly captures this vibe, if you’re interested to know what it looks like. The story is about Blue, an endangered Brazilian blue macaw who was illegally traded to the United States. The bird visits Brazil for the first time and shows how tourists see Brazilian culture – and especially how they see Carnival.
Blue got excited about all the freedom Brazilians seemed to have, while his owner, Linda, was shocked by the traditional costumes that people wore for Carnival.
Yeah, these clothes are pretty shocking.
It’s quite normal to see naked people dancing in the streets, or wearing very short glittery clothes. They also usually add masks to their outfits to make it more colorful.
Despite this, the party is bright and contagious. It’s also historically meaningful. Thanks to Carnival, Brazil’s Black community gets more space and respect.
Samba, the African-Brazilian musical style, became the symbol of the party. Samba attracted many enthusiasts to join what we call “Blocos de Samba,” which consist of big parties where many celebrities gather with the public.
Not only Samba, but also other styles, such as Axe, Pagode, Forró and popular music have their place in the celebrations.
Carnival wasn’t created in Brazil, but it became so important to our culture that it’s no wonder that people connect it to the country.
Though there is a lot to do during Carnival, I’m a Brazilian who prefers to stay at home rather than dance with strangers.
I’m not alone. Many other Brazilians don’t celebrate this festival either, for the same reasons as mine.
As thousands of people go crazy at parties, it gets really dangerous. It’s not so prudent to allow a huge amount of drunkards to gather in one place. The number of car accidents, sexual assaults and homicides increase a lot during Carnival, especially with the heavy rainy period across Brazil.
According to the National Confederation of Transport, the number of car accidents jumped from 911 in 2008, to 1,145, in 2017.
And more people drive drunk. According to the Brazilian newspaper, Correio Braziliense, in 2022, the cases of drunk driving increased by 225%.
If you are planning to join Carnival here in Brazil, please, be careful. Not only with the drunken people, but also with thieves. People become more vulnerable during celebrations. Also, be responsible. Don’t be the one to bring more blood to Brazil.
I don’t celebrate Carnival, but it’s definitely a way that many people celebrate life. Just make wise choices during it, and you’ll have much more fun!
Nicole Luna is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.