Carnival days in Salvador-Bahia and Rio de Janeiro Photographed by Jair (Yair) Moreshet 2007 <ul><li>Background : </li></ul><ul><li>The Carnival is a religious event that is celebrated at the same dates in different Catholic communities around the world. In every place it is painted though by the local traditions and culture. In Brazil it is painted by elements of African culture. </li></ul><ul><li>As opposed to other European colonial nations, the Portuguese settlers had historically liberal attitudes toward sexual and family relationships with their slaves. As a result, high percentage of individual Brazilians are racially mix in different proportions, the Brazilian culture has a major African component, and so has their Carnival. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a major difference though between Salvador-Bahia and Rio de Janeiro: </li></ul><ul><li>Bahia is the agriculture-rich state where the Portuguese landed initially and where very many Africans were brought as slaves. 80% of the population in Bahia today is of African descent, and it is said that there is more African culture in Bahia than in Africa… The Carnival there is very ethnic , authentic , spontaneous , and innocent . There are no boundaries between locals and visitors or between active participants and spectators. </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast to that, the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro developed in the 20th century under the influence of their huge urban poverty slums. The central part of the Carnival there became an annual formal competition of costumes , design , and show between “Samba Schools”, for which they prepare year-long, each around its chosen central theme. It became the center of life and / or occupational / social therapy for the very many involved. The culmination is in the 3 whole-night parades, run in the “ Sambadrome ” structure that was designed specifically for that by the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. Each night parade is run in front of 68,000 passive spectators (tourists) paying a fortune for their seats. </li></ul>
Salvador-Bahia: The historical initial landing beach of the Portuguese in South America
The beautiful baroque Portuguese church of Sao Francisco, created by artisan slaves.
A typical street in the old city of Salvador-Bahia (the Pelourinho).
Rio de Janeiro: The beautiful cove and beach at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain
Rio de Janeiro: Climbing the Sugar Loaf Mountain
Rio de Janeiro: The breathtaking view from Corcovado Mountain. (Sugar Loaf Mountain is seen standing upright out of the water.)
The monumental statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado Mountain
Rio de Janeiro, Carnival night: The spectators’ entrance to the Sambadrome just before the beginning of a parade
Rio de Janeiro, the Sambadrome, at the conclusion of the Carnival week, the night of the winner’s parade. - Featuring the “Samba School” that won the competition this year and the next 6 ones going up. Each “Samba School” has an allocated 80 minutes to parade along the Sambadrome with all its thousands of participants, its percussion section (“Bateria”) and a number of huge floats .
AND, the winning Samba School for 2007 had as its chosen theme for this year what other than simply “AFRICA” … that clearly shows in their lovely costumes. The joy of the winners is very noticeable, too.
Rio de Janeiro: The “Carnival of the Streets” is run by local neighborhoods (blocos) and meant to bring the Carnival back to the people, here on the beach of Copacabana.