Brazil is the largest and most important country in South America. It is the fifth-largest country in the world in terms of area and population. The population here is about 190 million. It is the only country in South America where the Portuguese language is spoken. Brazilians are Roman Catholic. Most Catholic families in the world reside here. According to a survey conducted in 2000, 73 percent of the people in Brazil are Roman Catholic.
The native culture of Brazil is heavily influenced by Portuguese culture due to its strong colonial ties with the Portuguese Empire. Among other influences, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, Roman Catholicism and colonial architectural styles, although the culture is also heavily influenced by African, indigenous and Non-Portuguese European cultures and traditions.
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest nation in both Latin America and South America. It covers a zone of 8,515,767 square kilometers, with a population of over 211 million. Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest famous country, composed of 26 states and the Federal District. It is the biggest nation to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. It is one of the world’s most ethnically and multicultural diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world. It is also the most famous Roman Catholic-majority nation, and its capital is Brasília, while the biggest city is São Paulo.
Interesting Facts About Brazil
- Comparatively recently discovered evidence suggests human settlement in Brazil started more than 30,000 years ago.
- Brazil’s name comes from the Pau-Brasil, Portuguese for Brazil tree, the nation’s national tree and a natural resource that play a significant role in the economic development of the nation.
- Brazil’s border touches all nations on the South American continent except Chile and Ecuador.
- Brazil is the fifth-largest nation on the planet by land area and the sixth-largest by population.
- Brazil was the last country in the Americas to put an end to slavery, in 1888.
- Football soccer is by far the most famous sport in Brazil, and the national team has won a record five football World Cup championships.
Famous Festivals in Brazil
It is celebrated throughout Brazil for the complete month of June as a celebration of Saint John the Baptist, which provides it the other name of Festa de Sao João. It celebrates rural life with typical dances, clothes and food inside an Arraial a huge tent made of raw materials. In bigger cities, the Arraial is normally a building with decorations such as colored flags, balloons and checkered table cloths.
Parintins Folklore Festival
The annual festival held in Parintins in Amazonas, a state in the north of the nation, is the second-largest in Brazil after carnival. It goes over a timeline of three days at the end of June and celebrates the Amazonian legend of a resurrected ox. The main attraction of the festival is the competition between the two teams Caprichoso and Garantido that compete to retell the story of the ox through a compelling mix of singing and dancing, as a blend with lively parades. The festival is mostly devoted to Amazonas folklore and indigenous culture, which is why it is focused only on one place.
The German roots of the south of Brazil brought up this traditionally German festival to Brazil, where it has become one of the most famous beer festivals in the nation. Held in the mid of October every year in Blumenau in the state of Santa Catarina, it celebrates plenty of beer and typical German cuisine. There are also traditional folk costumes that most persons wear with bright enthusiasm and lots of street parties, singing, and dancing.
Undoubtedly the biggest festival in Brazil, the carnival is familiar worldwide for its non-stop one week of partying. The weeks leading up to the official carnival are peppered with random street parades and parties signify as blocos and if that wasn’t enough, the weeks after tending to have some post-carnival party to ease off the end of carnival blues. Each bloco has its own music and theme.
Brazil Customs and Traditions
If you ever heard anything about Brazil, the Brazilian food or even the Brazilian traditions – then you might already know that this South American nation is a place where people not only understand how to be happy but also how to make other people happy too, with their simple style of living.
It is a tradition that came to us from the time of slavery. It’s a dance that was used to support up the religious ceremonies that take place on the coffee plantations around the Brazilian coast. Nowadays capoeira is equal to a sport in Brazil. It can be taught in almost any city.
Festa Junina (June’s Party)
To celebrate the day, Brazilians started a tradition, familiar as the Festa Junina, a party that happens sometime between June, July or even August. In its typical fashion, everyone dresses as cowgirls and cowboys, and dances in a coordinated team choreography, known as Quadrilha.
You have surely seen or heard something about the Brazilian carnival at some point in your life cycle before. It is one of the major grandiose festivals in the entire world. Some Brazilian states even declare a short vacation time in February or March, so that the natives do celebrate and have joy without worrying about college, school or their jobs. However, most people are not aware that the carnival takes its invention from the Brazilian samba – a rhythm that can be played anyplace.
Despite any issues or any rough matters that could happen in life, the Brazilians always attempt to make things wise by hanging out with a good team of people, and by enjoying a nice piece of steak. Unlike American barbecues, Brazilian barbecues are renowned for the softness of meat, flavors, and deliciousness.
Festival de Parintins
It is a folklore tradition that takes up its stems in the state of Amazonas and is celebrated every June. The full festivity is based around one old legend about two bulls – a blue one (Caprichoso) and a red one (Garantido). Just like during a soccer match, every Brazilian would select a color to represent during the festival.
What to Buy From Brazil Market
It makes not only a delicious beverage but also a brilliant souvenir to buy in Brazil. As the globe’s hugest coffee producer, Brazil is the main hub for coffee lovers. Small family-owned coffee brands sold out high-quality powder and grains to prepare this beverage at household.
Christ the Redeemer Memorabilia
As a chief landmark, Christ the Redeemer is depicted in numerous Brazilian souvenirs, from keychains to memorabilia. Yet, no souvenir is as symbolic as a miniature of the most imposing monument in the nation, which is also a major traveler attraction in Brazil. It is affordable, simple, and will make certain no one feels left out when you pass out your Brazil gifts. Grab these at any Rio de Janeiro gift shop centers.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a symbol and a magnificent tourist attraction of Rio de Janeiro. From wood to steel to glass, you can explore the Sugarloaf Mountain miniatures in just any size and material. And they are not pretty expensive! You will definitely find these in just about various major gift shops in Rio de Janeiro.
While most Brazilian authors are not famous internationally—except Paulo Coelho–they still have numerous high-quality published works worth checking out. I understand literature is not something you would usually connect with Brazil. But, I guarantee you would not regret bringing some novels back sweet home with you.
Hands down, one of the good things to buy in Brazil is cachaça. This Brazilian liquor made up of sugarcane juice which is strong and tastes vegetal and grassy it’s delicious! It’s with cachaça that we generally make out the national cocktail, the caipirinha, together with most of our cocktails. You do explore bigger brands in grocery shops in Brazil, but tiny family-owned brands are easy to discover in a bar or, depending on where you are in the nation, in their own distillery.
Famous Places to Visit in Brazil
Cristo Redentor and Corcovado
With arms outstretched 28 meters, as if to encompass all of humanity, the colossal Art Deco statue of Christ, familiar as Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), looks out over Rio de Janeiro and the bay from the peak of Corcovado. The eight-meter base encloses a chapel that is famous for weddings. Although this is one of Brazil’s most happily recognized icons, it is often mistakenly called The Christ of the Andes, confuse up with the old statue marking the boundary between Chile and Argentina.
Sugar Loaf (Rio de Janeiro)
The easy way to acknowledge the emblem of Rio de Janeiro, the go-round rock peak of Sugar Loaf juts out of a tree-surrounded promontory, rising 394 meters above the city and beaches. Its summit is one of the initial places to visit for travelers, for views of the harbor and Rio, and for the delight of riding suspended in a cable car between the Morro da Urca and Sugar Loaf, a lower peak from which a second cableway linked to the city.
At the point where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet, the Iguaçu River drops extraordinarily in a semicircle of 247 waterfalls that thunder down into the gorge. Just above the falls, the river is compressed to one-fourth of its usual width, making the force of the water even stronger.
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Downtown Rio’s most famous and fashionable section follows Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana and is bordered all along one side by four kilometers of breaking surf and white sand. The beach is separated from the traffic and buildings by a broad promenade paved in white and black mosaic in a ripple structure similar to streets in Lisbon, Portugal.
Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro
Few shows match Rio’s pre-Lenten Carnaval (Carnival) extravaganza for sound, color, exuberance and action. Making no error, this is not just another disorderly street party, but an ideal staged showpiece, where visitors can watch the parades of competing samba dancers from a purpose-built stadium manufactured by none other than Brazil’s good architect, Oscar Niemeyer.
Most Popular Food in Brazil
Best Street Food in Brazil
Barbecuing meat is one thing the Brazilians do very well. Picanha is a specific barbecue restaurant that can now be found all over Brazil, but the tradition comes from the culture of the south, where cowboys seasoned simply with rock salt and cook meats skewered on metal spits over hot coals. The prime cut of meat now connected with this style of cooking is picanha – the top chunk of sirloin steak. This has a thick layer of fat which certains the smoky meat just meltdown in the mouth. Picanha is a slice of Barbecue meat is a Brazilian specialty. It is the most famous cut and it is seasoned with salt before it is cooked to perfection. The thick layer of fat is burned and the tender, smokey, pink mid falls apart in your mouth. It is one of the highlights you’ll explore at a Brazilian barbecue but there plenty of others involving chicken hearts and wild boar.
A deep-fried, crisp pastry, this mobile snack found mainly in the southeast of the nation is the ideal street food. Served hot as an accompaniment to drinks, the pastel can be stuff with any number of savory fillings, from ground beef or chicken to melting cheeses or heart of palm. Sweet versions can also be found, usually flavored with caramel, tropical fruits, and chocolate.
Another deep-fried classic, coxinha is crunchy croquettes mainly made with a filling of soft, creamy cheese and shredded chicken. The filling is covered by a layer of dough, then coated in golden breadcrumbs before frying to develop the perfect crunch. Often formed like a teardrop, this is thought to represent the shape of a chicken thigh which would have basically been utilized for the filling.
Pão de Queijo
Now found throughout Brazil, these little, light fluffy buns invented from the southern region of Minas Gerais. Essentially ‘cheese bread’, the dough is a plain mix of soft cheese and cassava flour. A nice snack for any time of day, these are particularly famous at breakfast, served either warm as they are spread with jam or stuffed with more cheese.
Grown across the nation, the cassava plant is one of Brazil’s most applied ingredients. Often familiar as cassava, the whole plant is utilized in various formats, most commonly as a vegetable (tapioca) or as a starch. Cut into fried and batons, mandioca Frito is sold on street food stalls almost everywhere as the Brazilian alternative to the meek potato chip.
Famous Traditional Brazilian Dishes
It is a hearty, rich stew made with different cuts of black beans and pork. It is served countrywide and is the national dish. Traditionally, it’s made with offal such as ears and trotters which are slow-cooked and the whole procedure can take up to 24 hours (which is why most personalities just have it in restaurants nowadays). Caldinho de feijão is basically a lighter version that includes less meat.
It is a mouth-watering fish stew that is plated with piping hot in a clay pot. There are numerous regional variations of the dish but the major ingredients are tomatoes, fish tomatoes, coriander and onions. In some zones, coconut milk is applied to make the sauce creamier. There are two neighboring states, Capixabas and Baianos which both claim the recipe to have originated the dish (both used to serve delicious versions).
Brazil’s straight version of the chocolate truffle. They are a childhood favorite (or anyone with a sweet tooth) are very easier to make. Condensed milk is mixed with butter and boiled gently with cocoa powder, and then formed into balls and covered in sprinkles. They are named after the 1940s political figure and have been famous since World War II.
Bolinho de Bacalhau
It literally denotes a tiny cod ball. The delicious, fishy snacks are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The chunks of salted cod are primarily boiled before they are deep-fried. Salted cod is very famous in Portugal and the Brazilian like for it stems from the colonial era. It can be served as the main course with vegetables and rice or as an appetizer.
Top Companies in Brazil
This is publicly traded on a stock exchange as Ultrapar, is a conglomerate organization. Founded in 1937, it is engaged through its subsidiaries in chemicals production through Oxiteno, Ultragaz and Ipiranga in fuel distribution, in pharmacies through Extrafarma and in liquid storage through Ultracargo.
It is an organization engaged in distribution and power generation and majority-possess by the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It firstly operates hydroelectric power plants with about 6,000 MW of generation capacity in Chile and Brazil. Through its subsidiaries, CEMIG is also involved in telecommunications, cable television and the internet.
Natura & Co.
It is a cosmetics company. Present in more than 70 nations, it operates more than 3.200 stores providing a range of eco-friendly products and sustainable practices through brands involving The Body Shop, Natura Cosméticos, and Aesop. It also conducts multilevel marketing and direct sales, linked more than 6 million resellers around the globe.
It is a steel-producing organization. Provide a wide range of steel products, it is the biggest producer of long steel in Latin America. It operates steel mills in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Dominican Republic, Colombia, India, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, United States, Venezuela and Uruguay, and more than 300 commercial and industrial units.
It is a retail company. Founded in 1929, it operates around 1500 stores, hypermarkets, local convenience stores, and supermarkets, selling consumer and media electronics, furniture and home appliances, toys and beauty products. It is also one of the major operators of e-commerce websites in Brazil.
Brazilian Football Culture
Soccer is a big passion for Brazilians. They often call their nation the country of Football. Worldwide, more than 10,000 Brazilians play professionally. The sport has a large influence on Brazilian culture. It refers to a favorite pastime of youngsters playing football on the streets and indoor fields. The World Cup is famous for bringing Brazilians together. The majority of Brazilians often skip their job work to view the national team play. General Elections are majorly held in the same year as the World Cup. Many people say that political parties take advantage of the nationalistic rise given by Football. Past Brazilian football players are frequently elected to governmental positions.
2014 World Cup
In 2014, the soccer-loving nation of Brazil will host the 20th FIFA World Cup. This is an international association soccer tournament that will take place in June and July of that year. This will be the second time the Football competition will take place in Brazil. The first time it occurs in this nation was the 1950 FIFA World Cup. In 2014, Brazil will become the fifth nation to have hosted the FIFA World Cup two times. The other nations that have also hosted twice include Italy, Mexico, Germany and France. It will also be the first World Cup to take place in South America since the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina.
Famous Soccer Players from Brazil
His actual name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento. At the age of 15, he began playing soccer in the slums of Brazil. At the age of 16, he got selected for the national team and at the age of 17 he made his first World Cup appearance and to everyone’s surprise, he made the nation proud by winning the soccer World Cup. He then became a chief player of the team and got applaud universally for the good playing techniques which he invented himself. He had perfect goal-scoring capabilities, and he is the main goal scorer for Brazil up to this present time.
He was one of the greatest players of all time. His actual name is Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima. He was a creative goal scorer and set a World record in the 2002 World Cup by scoring numerous goals in the tournament. He was a part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2002 and 1994. He played 97 international matches for the nation in which he has scored 62 goals. Ronaldo has also won the FIFA player of the year no less than three times.
His nickname is Ronaldinho but his real name is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira so as to distinguish him from Ronaldo. He is a free-kick player and is familiar with his exceptional dribbling ability. He was a slice of the 2002 World Cup-winning squad. His worst performance was in the 2006 World Cup, where he was pretty unable to score even a single goal. However, he alone should not be responsible, as Brazil’s performance was quite poor in the 2006 World Cup. He won the FIFA player of the year award continuously way in the years 2005 and 2004.
When he was born as he was named Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite but he is commonly familiar as Kaka. He began playing football at the age of 8 when he joined a local club. He is one of the youngest players to have become a big star in Brazil and he plays in the attacking midfielder position. Kaka was a slice of the World Cup-winning squad in the 2002 World Cup. Initially, he was a part of the big team AC Milan and after his victory there he joined Real Madrid for a world-record fee of a million.
Best Beaches in Brazil
Brazil is home place to numerous magnificent beaches, it may be pretty worth planning a vacation around one or more of them. This South American nation swank more than 4,500 miles of coastline along the South Atlantic with a climate that is tropical and practically guarantees days spent under bright blue skies while enjoying the sand and the sea.
It is the most famous destination in Brazil and the most popular beach in all of South America. Situated in the southern region of Rio de Janeiro, with the one-and-a-quarter-mile stretch of flawless white sands dotted with stunning bodies. On just about any given day you’ll find travelers playing footvolley, a mix between volleyball and soccer, surfing the waves and soaking up the sun while surrounded by fascinating scenery that also involves Sugarloaf and Corcovado Mountain.
Praia do Forte
It is situated in the northeast region of the nation, about 50 miles north of Salvador. One of Brazil’s most breathtaking beaches, you can praise tide pools fill with all types of marine life at low tide and enjoy snorkeling and swimming through waters so clear you won’t even require a mask to watch the myriad of colorful fish. If you’re present between July and October, you probably even see a majestic humpback whale surface past the waves.
Lopes Mendes, Angra dos Reis
It is a remote, hidden beach that’s not easier to get to, but if you’re looking for spectacular and secluded beauty, you would not mind the muddy and steep minutes trek from the village of Palmas on Ilha Grande. Your prize will be a two-mile, crescent beach with some of the finest, whitest sand stretching out to waters that are a striking blue. Do bring plenty of sunscreen along with drink and food.
Praia do Farol, Arraial do Cabo
It is home to over 20 miles of stunning beach with crystal transparent aquamarine-hued waters and plentiful marine life that makes it divine for beachgoers as well as divers and snorkelers. It is arguably its most fascinating, accessed by a few-minute ferry ride as it fixed up on an island in a natural reserve. Once there, you’ll be able to take a stroll across some of the world’s whitest, softest sands and dive into waters that make it look like a dream Island.
It is one of the top destinations for sandboarding, kiteboarding, and windsurfing across the huge dunes close to the shore. A beach lovers’ paradise, it’s a chunk of a national park which maintains and preserves it as a zone of natural beauty.
PARTY DISTRICTS IN RIO DE JANEIRO
No questioning, Rio’s most famous nightlife enigma is Lapa. It is a neighborhood in central Rio, which process a great street party every weekend. Apart from the street party, Lapa is full of nightclubs, bars, and pubs where surely every figure is going to explore their preferable place. These places go through the best spots of Lapa’s nightlife, accompanied by animated Walkers and an international crowd! The best of the nightlife places is that you are able to visit the best spots of Lapa in only one night.
Best Time to Visit Brazil
The best time frame to visit Brazil is between November and March. These are the warmest months across the nation, with temperatures between 25°C and 34°C — ideal for enjoying Carnival and New Year celebrations.
Where to Stay in Brazil
Brazil has some pretty amazing hotels. Whether you’re in a back-to-nature mood and need to experience rainforests and jungles near-up or just need to laze by a big-city pool or on the beach, one of Brazil’s wonderful hotels is certain to make your wild imagination come true.
Porto Bay Rio Internacional
The five-star Porto Bay Rio Internacional is situated in Copacabana Beach, near to travelers attractions, the metro and shopping that will rush you around Rio de Janeiro in a short time. Its 117 rooms either have windows or private verandas with panoramic views. You’ll also explore beautiful views, including Christ the Redeemer, on the 20th-floor rooftop terrace. This is the place to be at sunset. Several restaurants serve award-winning cocktails and cuisine.
DPNY Beach Hotel, Ilhabela
It is considered one of the top beach hotels in South America. Located on an island 2-1/2 hours from Sao Paulo, the hotel flow luxury from beachside seating to its numerous guest rooms. Rooms come with dryers and washers lest your clothes get too sandy from beach activities. Hotel amenities involve a full-service spa, outdoor and indoor pools, and three onsite restaurants.
Araras Pantanal Ecolodge, Pocone
It offers guests a first-hand chance to get up nearby and personal nature. The Pantanal is the hugest continuous wetland on the planet. Situated in the center point of the South American continent, this ecolodge permits guests to experience the Atlantic and Amazon rainforests, the Brazilian savannah and the fauna and flora that go with it. Rooms are having elegant look but tastefully furnished. The ecolodge’s emphasis is on joy in the natural surroundings.
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