February 24, 2004

Salvador da Bahia, Brasil

Drums, music, sweat, rhythm, dancing. This is what I wanted Carnaval to be. This is what I found in Salvador.

As elsewhere in Brazil, all week huge bloccos composed of sound trucks, musicians and hundreds of dancers wind their way through thick crowds in the streets. Smaller groups of dancers and musicians wind through the steep and narrow cobblestone of old town Salvador. Tribal drummers, capoieristas, brass bands, costumed dancers and spectators all squeeze together and move about the city as one concerted yet chaotic sea of people. Music and dance surrounds always.

Yesterday was Mardi Gras - the climax of Carnaval. This morning, exhausted, I watched the sun come up on Lent signaling the end of the festivities and starting the second half of the world's biggest binge/purge celebration. The city will be a lot quieter now, though not the solemn observance I was expecting.

This won't be my last Carnaval here.

Posted by dhuska at February 24, 2004 05:45 AM