*the days aren’t actually in order, carnival lasts an entire week. I tried to go everyday and take pics, but living directly on a parade route and crashing at a friends place who lives directly on a crazier parade route made it hard. SO, I’m blogging about Carnival in three different installments because honestly, that’s all I remember.*
Carnival is the largest party in Brazil. Wikipedia says the largest celebration is in Rio, but actually it’s in Salvador. For the entire month of February, Salvador experiences a huge influx of tourists. They fill the stairs of Geronimo on Tuesdays, they take all the seats at Jazz no Mam on Saturday nights, they have all come to see the livest party on Earth, Carnival in Salvador, Bahia. As a tourist turned person who just won’t leave, I can’t lie-the excitement got me caught up as well. After snagging a press pass I hit the streets with my camera. Here are the better shots of the first day.
Carnival, which is celebrated in many countries all over the world is a direct result of imperialism. Traditionally, Christians and Catholics feasted and partied hard before Lent started on Ash Wednesday. During Lent people abstain from fun and awesome things like meat, wine, chocolate or sex to pay reverence to Christ. However, with the rise in globalization and the boon in the tourism industry, specially of the sex variety, your typically Carnival or Mardi Gras has little to do with the original religious origin. (I’m looking at you Trinidad and Tobago and NOLA)
The coolest part about Salvador’s carnival is how the afro blocos (bands) chose a figure or country to pay homage to. Olodum, one of the largest afro reggae bands in Brasil chose Ethiopia after members of the organization took a trip to the country this past year. Brazil now has a direct flight route to Ethiopia as well.
The music and costumes of Olodum were all inspired by Ethiopia. If you look closely you can see coptic crosses. Ethiopia, (low key the cradle of human life), is home to the bones of the world’s first human ancestor as well as pieces of the actual cross Christ was hung on.
Olodum’s’ opening reception premiered the music they would go on to play throughout Carnival as well as Ethiopian food and drink and an apperance from the Ethiopian ambassador.