Hello! It’s good to see you again! This post is a day late – I’d meant to publish it yesterday, ON October 12, the date of the Brazilian Holidays listed below. But, alas, I ended up enjoying some vacation time with my husband… which, in the end, is great because I ended up practicing what I preach. Read to the end and you’ll understand what I mean. As always, I’d love your help to grow our AWBK community by sharing these posts on your social platforms. So let’s get into today’s post!
This is a Brazilian Holiday weekend, celebrating not one but THREE separate anniversaries…
- “Nossa Senhora Aparecida” or Our Lady Appeared, literally translated. This name refers to the virgin Mary. The appearance part of the name comes from a rather interesting legend. According to the Official Holidays website, the virgin Mary provided a miracle after her statue likeness was caught the net of fishermen, working the Paraiba River near the city of Sao Paulo. At the end of an unfruitful day, they found the statue. After catching Mary’s figurine, they cast out one last time, and the net came up full of fish. The surrounding community built a church to host the original statue of “Nossa Senhora Aparecida.” Eventually, the town grew into the present city, Aparecida, meaning “she who has appeared.” In 1929, Pope Pius XI declared Nossa Senhora Aparecida the patron saint of Brazil.
- October 12 also marks the anniversary of the european discovery by Christopher Columbus. Given the resulting oppression and exploitation that Brazil suffered for so long, this anniversary isn’t celebrated.
- “Dia das Criancas” – Children’s’ Day. Brazilians celebrate children’s’ day with special community events for children and families. Additionally, many parents give a special gift to their children. This holiday most certainly reflects Brazil’s love for family!
So how do we celebrate a Brazilian Holiday?
I thought I’d give you a little picture of what happens on my street when a holiday rolls around. So here goes!
You know it’s a Brazilian holiday when…
- You awake from your Saturday afternoon nap to hear squeaks, squawks, and ear-bursting metallic rings as the DJ and his crew set up the sound system for a party across the street.
- The sun sets to the sound of tipsy cheers, woots, hollars, and “Shape of You,” by Ed Sheeran.
- You finally go to bed at 11:00 pm to the sound of drunk guests singing karaoke versions of the current Brazilian hits… and occasionally an American selection or two. (My husband and I lay in bed with the window open, bursting into fits of laughter with every drunken crack and warble. Our very own Brazilian Saturday Night Live!)
- You wake up Sunday morning at 5 a.m. and wonder if you’re hallucinating because you hear party music from afar. But nope. The party is still going.
- Everything is closed but maybe one grocery store, the drugstore, and the bakery.
- But the door to Grandma’s apartment is wide open! And if it’s not, you hear a chorus of grandchildren shouting from outside the compound, “VOOOOOO ABREEEE AAAAA POOOORRRTAAAAA!! VOOO!!” accompanied by relentless buzzing of the intercom and the “ding-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling” of the doorbell once they burst through the gate.
- That amazing, rich, toasted caramel aroma of Brazilian pour over coffee wafts through your windows and fills every apartment in the complex. Soon you hear the joyous clamour of five different, and simultaneous, conversations from Grandma’s kitchen, echoing in the condominium corridor.
- In the apartment complexes and houses behind and in front of yours, similar scenes play out into late morning.
- Around 1 or 2 p.m. the smell of Churrasco, Brazilian barbeque, wafts through your window from every end of the neighborhood. The neighborhood dogs peer out from between the bars of their compound gates. They whine and bark at the smell of roasted chicken and beef.
- For the rest of the day, the neighborhood plays its holiday soundtrack of music, conversation, laughter, shouts, whoots, and children playing, gradually fading as the sun sets.
I love Brazilian holidays!
One thing I appreciate so much about life in Brazil is that everyone takes time to get together. On Brazilian holidays, people make a clean cut from their work lives and rest for 24 or 48 hours. And it doesn’t even have to be a holiday! The scenes I’ve described happen sometimes on any given weekend!
People sometimes ask me if I like living in Brazil, and I say Yes! The following quote perfectly sums up one reason why I enjoy life in Brazil:
“We don’t live to work; we work to live.”
And live, we do! Whether it’s a holiday or not, and no matter where we live, let’s all take more opportunities to enjoy life, family and friends together!