Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The wish ribbons tied to the gate of the Bonfim Church and sold by the dozen in front of the church to be tied around one's wrist are a famous symbol of Bahia, ubiquitous in art and fashion - and yet another manifestation of Afro-Brazilian syncretism.

Wish Ribbons at Bonfim Church
At first made of silk and worn around the neck, at times with little votive charms, as a sign of gratefulness for a grace received, they gradually took on the colors symbolically related to orixás and became wish ribbons, or simply one of the most popular souvenirs from Salvador, produced industrially with the inscription "Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia" (lembrança means "memento").

The wish is supposed to be made while the ribbon is tied with three knots; if tied around the wrist, the ribbon is supposed to have been received as a gift, not tied on by the wearer, and to be left on until it falls off by itself, which can take several months.

Vendors, inevitably stationed outside the church, swarm around tourists offering a single ribbon as a gift and trying to sell their bundles, usually with a dozen ribbons in assorted colors, for about R$2.


The famous fitas have been used by Brazilian designers locally and nationally in many different ways. Aside from their fashion statement, the user must have three knots tied and if the ribbon falls off naturally, the wishes will be granted. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013


 Brazil is spared the types of natural catastrophes that afflict many other countries - tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, blizzards, and avalanches are all unheard of and earthquakes are negligible to non-existent. Sure there are floods and mudslides, but in most cases, the damage they inflict is due to human negligence and lack of proper planning and infrastructure rather than Mother Nature’s viciousness. 

What most people don’t know about Brazil is that it’s the country where you’re most likely to be zapped by lightning. That’s because when it comes to the frequency of raios, Brazil is the world champion. According to statistics compiled by the Grupo de Eletricidade Atmosférica (Elat) , a research group devoted to the study of atmospheric electricity, which is part of Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Inpe), lightning strikes in Brazil around 58 million times a year – and 156,000 times a day.
Moreover, each year the number of lightning strikes has been increasing. Researchers at Elat believe that recent climate change is the culprit; they estimate that for every degree the temperature rises, the frequency of lightning can increase by between 10 and 20 percent.
Over the last 10 years, lightning bolts have been the cause of 1,321 deaths in Brazil. Last year alone there were 81 fatalities. The largest number occurred in the North (the state of Amazonas receives the largest number of lightning bolts; around 11 million a year), followed by the Central-West. The fewest number of deaths occurred in the South.
To make sure you don’t get zapped while in Brazil, here are some Lightning Tips:
  • Stay away from wide open spaces (if on a beach, seek shelter off the sand)
  • Get out of the water (whether the ocean, a swimming pool, or even a shower); water is a major conductor of electricity
  • Cell phone aren’t a danger (unless they’re plugged into rechargers) nor are fixed phones (as long as they’re wireless).
  • Buildings are safer than houses, which are safer than being outdoors
  • If you’re in a car, shut all the doors and windows, sit back, relax, and stay away from all metallic surfaces. (There is no recorded instance of anyone in Brazil ever having been killed by lightning while sitting in a closed car).

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Then come to the Gramado Film Festival (Portuguese: Festival de Gramado) - an international film festival held annually in the Brazilian city of Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, since 1973. Since 1992 it has also awarded Latin American films produced outside Brazil. It is the biggest film festival in the country. 

Currently the festival awards films in 24 categories (13 for Brazilian films, 8 for international films, and three special awards). Its awards are called "Kikitos". It is the name of the 13 inches statuette created by artisan Elisabeth Rosenfeld, which is given to the awards winners.

This year the Festival will be held from the 9 to the 17 of August, 2013 in Gramado, state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


First Place Winner: Brazil Aquathlon

15,000 photographers from around the world entered the 25th edition of the award. The winning photo, "Dig Me River," is by Wagner Araujo and shows contestants at the Brazilian Championship Aquathlon running towards the Rio Negro, in Manaus, capital of the Amazon state.
Photo and caption by Wagner Araujo: "I was in Manaus, Amazonas, during the Brazilian Aquathlon (swimming and running) championship. I photographed it from the water and my lens got completely wet, but there was so much energy in these boys that I just didn't worry about that". —Wagner Araujo

National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year's judges, shares his thoughts on the first place winner:

“This photo really captures my attention because of the peak action it depicts. I love the horizontal tension caused by the main subject on his way out of the picture to the right. Classic photographic rules of composition say that you should not have subjects moving out of the frame, but this shot shows that sometimes the most exciting photo can be made by breaking the rules. I also love the body language of the main subject; he's trying to lean forward but still holding back to get his last breath before plunging into the water. Finally, the addition of the tall buildings along the waterfront makes this more than just a sports picture; it’s also a portrait of Manaus, Brazil.”

Wagner won a ten-day expedition in the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour vessel. The trip is made in the company of a team of naturalists and offers the chance to get close to unique species such as giant tortoises, sea lions and marine iguanas.

The winning images will be published in the December/2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
Location: Rio Negro, Ponta Negra Beach, Manaus, Amazon, Brazil
Category: Outdoor Scenes


Friday, August 2, 2013


Every July, Joinville, in the state of Santa Catarina, south region of Brazil, hosts the largest and the most important dance festival of the country. It receives some 50,000 patrons from all over Brazil searching for the most recent production on national and international levels. Classical, contemporary and popular groups of acclaimed artists and new talents from Brazil and all over come to Joinville either for presentations or contests.

Why does a medium-sized town like Joinville host such an important dance event that attracts people from all over the world? Well, one of their credentials is that they are the only town to have a branch of the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet School outside Russia. 

In eight nights – July 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 at 7 pm – dancers do their best in seven genres: Classical Ballet, Ballet d’Action, Contemporary Dance, Tap, Urban Dances, Jazz, and Popular Dances.

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