It's time for carnavaaaal!

It's time for carnavaaaal!

Carnival! The most colourful, indulgent and rambunctious time of the year! Carnival is a festive season which occurs according to the Catholic calendar before lent, setting this year at around 28 February - 4 March. Depending where you go you may see different types of events - but you can expect massive street parties and spectacular parades. Costumes and masks are worn, and in fact historically they served a purpose: behind those you could hide your true identity, race and gender.

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Welcome to the northernmost samba capital of the world!!?

Welcome to the northernmost samba capital of the world!!?

Helsinki is quite the samba city even though you may have a hard time imagining it. Every year, now for over 20 years, there is a big samba carnival right in the center of Helsinki - held following the same traditions and rules as in the all-mighty Rio de Janeiro. With the small exception that the Helsinki Samba Carnival (HSC) is held the second Saturday of June, as it would be quite too cold to do it in February-March!

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Carnaval in Floripa - the Brazilian samba parade (part 2)

Carnaval in Floripa - the Brazilian samba parade (part 2)

Brazil... Carnaval... I certainly wasn't going to miss a samba parade at the local Florianópolis sambódromo! The main parade on Saturday was sold out by the time I got in town on Friday so I got a ticket to the next best thing, the final parade - the champions’ parade held the following Tuesday.

And I made sure I was there early. The parades are at the Floripa samba street, sambódromo (yes, they have one too, like in Rio). It’s like a sports stadium but with one straight white concrete alley. It's a funny concept to have a stadium for basically a couple events per year (or do they actually use it for something else too?) but in the Brazilian mindset it might be just the thing.

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Carnaval week in Floripa - drag queens, caipirinhas, samba and desert beaches (part 1)

Carnaval week in Floripa - drag queens, caipirinhas, samba and desert beaches (part 1)

Three flights. Three effing flights. Never again will I book a trip to somewhere with two stopovers. This time even the second flight left an hour late so the second stop was a bit more “exciting”. But these are the things a girl needs to do to get to a carnival! So I flew from Argentina to Brazil, from Salta to Florianópolis (=Floripa), on the Thursday before the Carnaval.

Carnaval - a Catholic holiday - is a major event all over Brazil, in most places in South America as well as many places in the rest of the world as well. The Brazilian carnaval though seems to have nothing to do with anything that resembles a religious holiday ;) I had heard that Floripa is one of the nicest places to see the carnival in the southern Brazil. I manage to get the (idiotic) flight and a hostel there so I was all set!

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