Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Since I'm married to a Brasileira, have been to Carnival in Rio & Sao Paul, and brought back lots of video and magazines; a lot of people ask me: "Is Carnival like our Mardi Gras?" My answer to that is usually: "Yes, they are both Pre-Lentin festivals that celebrate debauchery. There is music, and parades, but it is a matter of scale. In the US only a relative handful of people celebrate Mardi Gras, in Brazil it's an entire country. I laugh hysterically when people claim that St. Louis has the Second Largest Mardi Gras celebration after NO. I know it's rude, but somehow in comparison, this little party we have in the Sticks is a source of local pride.
This is a clip from the Viradouro Samba School in Rio 2008.
The school's theme is "Things ... all » that give you goosebumps." The theme is then broken down into sub themes, in this instance: Sex, Execution, and Horror. All done to Samba Beat
You should play "Name that cultural reference."
Note: The White float with the gagged people sitting on it was supposed to be a pile of dead bodies representing the Holocaust, but it was pulled due to public outrage.
The float now reads, "You can't build a future if you bury the past." I don't know who that guy is on the float, but it's not Jesus.
What is not included in this video are the floats with the giant ski slope and real snow skiers, A giant bloody, new born baby float dangling from human hands, wriggling and opening it's eyes Women wearing igloo dresses, hundreds of penguins, an army of Mr. Freezes zapping people with their cold rays, henchmen bashing the ice scupltures, sections of people wearing hand costumes, lips costumes and tongue costumes, and one big ass Edward Scissorhands float followed by a group of Edward Costumes. You know, things that give you goosebumps.
Here is what you need to know about Carnival.
There are 12 teams, each team has a theme, a drum group, 4 floats or so, 4000+ members a theme song and 90 minutes to get their team down the special Sambadrome Avenue and across the finish line. Points are scored and removed for everything, dances, costumes, harmony, time...the works.
The team beings work on next years theme a few days after Carnival. The team members pay for their own costumes.