Souvenirs from Brazil
Colorful and exciting, souvenirs from Brazil match the party atmosphere. Scanty string bikinis, woven cloth hammocks, and rough hewn wooden bird statues will bring the beach to your backyard, while Amazonian feather headdresses are a perfect addition to an office wall. Leather goods are found at low prices, including belts, wallets and shoes. For those seeking something more luxurious, quality gemstones can be purchased here at a lower cost, and set into gold and silver while you are visiting. Handmade lace is a specialty of the artisans in Fotraleza, and vividly hued drums, maracas and tambourines are hawked on street corners. Speaking of music, another entertaining Brazilian souvenir is the music. CDs of the local music and bands are widely available, and are an easy way to share your memories. For something off the beaten path, stop in a candomble store. These apothecaries offer magical trinkets, incense and powders, to bring love, luck and fortune. Of course, nothing beats a magnet, key chain or T-shirt for its classic appeal.
Brazillian Carnival Celebrations
Carnival is Brazil's most celebrated event, taking place several days before the start of Lent. In fact, carnival is derived from a Latin phrase meaning without meat. For about a week, people enjoy parties, parades and feasts, before the Christian holy season. They also consume 80% of the annual amount of beer. Millions of people participate each year, including hundreds of thousands of tourists. Each region of Brazil has a slightly different spin on the holiday. Rio de Janeiro's parade is gaudy splash of oversized floats and samba dancers in costume that entertain crowds, while Salvador and Recife encourage audience participation, with an African influence as they travel up and down the streets. In Olinda, tradition is drawn from both local folklore and Venetian Carnevale celebrations. Not one for singing and dancing in sequined clothes? This time of year is also full of artisan fairs, with unique Carnival memorabilia available, tasty foods offered for the public's enjoyment.