During this week christians from everywhere are celebrating the long Easter, or as we say in Portuguese, Páscoa or “Semana Santa”. In Brazil in addition to religious celebration and traditions it’s also means free time for vacations or non-religious festivities. The oficial holiday is the Good Friday( Sexta-feira Santa), however is common that companies and schools give days off on Thursday and also on Monday, so events throughout cities start on Thursday and will last on the weekend.
During these days people usually travel to enjoy this short vacation or go for some cultural events spread around their cities. The meals become different, replacing meat for fishes, a christian tradition during this time, but even non-religious people follow this old Easter tradition. Besides, it is the sweetest time to visit Brazil =P If you are addicted to chocolate, “Semana Santa” will be your paradise. Chocolate Easter eggs filled with more chocolate are easily found in the ceiling of supermarkets and specialized stores. It’s like Santa Clauss bringing you gifts in the end of the year, but instead of Santa a Rabbit brings you chocolates.
This year an example of non-holiday event happening during the Easter weekend is the music festival sensation Lollapalooza in São Paulo. The three-day festival at the SP Jockey Club will feature some of the biggest names in music, including headliners like Pearl Jam, The Killers, and Deadmau5, as well as Brazilian favorites like Criolo and Graforréia Xilarmônica.
However, if you are more traditional person is pretty easy to find Easter celebrations at the churchs, most of them have a full schedule from Thursday to Sunday which include spiritual retreats, Via Crucis, confessions and masses. Furthermore, you can watch beautiful plays about the Passion of Christ(Paixao de Cristo), they are usually cheap if it’s at the theater or for free on the streets. The most famous takes place in Brejo da Madre de Deus city, Pernambuco.
Do you have any brazilian friend? So wish them “FELIZ PÁSCOA” (Happy Easter)!