All Posts

A Brief History of Rio

Hi all, Yesterday marked the 450th anniversary of the establishment of Rio de Janeiro – by the Portuguese. Few people are aware that the first settlement in the area was actually French! Rio was born at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. The first settlement, founded in 1555, actually was French and was named “France Antarctique”. […]

New Year’s Eve in Brazil

Hi all, Happy New Year! Or, as we typically say here, Próspero Ano Novo. New Year’s celebrations are similar here to those in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Typically Brazilians congregate and often eat and drink too much. There are over-priced affairs at bars and restaurants, or simpler affairs at friends’ homes. There […]

Christmas Tree Lighting in Rio

Hi all, I’m back. Was very busy then down with a severe cold. But back in fighting trim again. We are rapidly approaching Christmas, and a Christmas tradition here in Rio is the lighting of the floating Christmas Tree at Lagoa (lagoon) Rodrigo de Freitas. The lighting this year was last Saturday. My friend Allie, […]

Corpus Christi

Today is a holiday in Brazil. This post is an update from a previous post:   Hi all, Today is the Day of Corpus Christi, yet another religious holiday here in Brazil. “Corpus Christi” is Latin for Body of Christ. The day is celebrated in the Catholic Church and also some Anglican and Lutheran churches. […]

Holiday: Dia do Trabalhador (Labor Day)

Hi all, Today is yet another holiday in Brazil. There seem to be a lot of them here, in part because there are not only national holidays, but also state and even city-level holidays. For a listing of holidays in 2013, click here. Today is Dia do Trabalhador, or Day of the Worker, known as […]

São Jorge’s Day

Hi all, On April 23rd, Brazilians who live in the city of Rio de Janeiro observe São Jorge’s Day (Saint George’s Day). Saint George was a soldier during the time of the Roman Empire and is one of the most venerated priests of the Catholic Church. He is also revered by followers of Afro-Brazilian religions […]

Black Consciousness Day

Hi all, I hope that you are having a good week. My readers in the US will be gearing up for Thanksgiving, in many cases fortifying themselves for an early start on Black Friday. Think of me as you dive into your turkey, which I miss. (Cranberry sauce, not so much.) Today is Black Consciousness Day […]

Republic Day

Hi all, Today is a holiday (yes, yet another one) here in Brazil. On November 15th, Brazil observes the Proclamation of the Republic. On this day in 1889, Brazil established the Republic regime through a coup d’état. Up until that day, Brazil was a monarchy, whose king was Dom Pedro II. For Brazilians in general, […]

All Souls’ Day (O Dia dos Finados)

Hi all, Being a country of Catholic heritage, Brazil celebrates All Souls’ Day. Well, not like Mexicans do, although the name in Portuguese, Dia de Finados, is equivalent to the Mexican Día de los Muertos rather than All Souls Day. On November 2nd, Brazilians tend to go to cemeteries where beloved family members are buried […]

Our Lady of Aparecida and Children’s Day

Hello all, Today is yet another holiday here in Brazil. Actually, today is a triumvirate: the discovery of America (Columbus Day back in the States), Children’s Day, and – most importantly here – Our Lady of Aparecida Day. I get a little lost in the story of Our Lady of Aparecida, but it goes something […]