While everyone is hyped about the Olympics in Brazil this year, don’t forget that this country inspired hype long before Rio 2016 was announced. With Brazil heading into winter and us Northern Hemisphere locales heading into summer, we decided to get ready for our warmer months by taking a look at how the country with beautiful beaches, music that influences genres around the world, and some of the meatiest barbecues you’ll ever see celebrates the longer days and shorter nights. Here’s why it’s time you did summer like a Brazilian.
Because every floor is a dance floor
Brazilians take pride in lighting up the floor with the quick-quick-slow movements of samba -- every beat has three steps -- and summer is the perfect time to showcase these moves. Why? There are more occasions for music: barbecues, street fairs, festivals, more days off and more get-togethers, especially considering holidays like Christmas & New Year’s take place during their summer. Big holidays lead to more get togethers which lead to more dancing! But even the average patio hang at a friend’s house will probably result in a serious samba session instead of a post-midnight game of Cards Against Humanity.
And beaches are the perfect place for a big ole dance party. Some even have stages set up for performances by some of Brazil’s professional dance groups, the kind you see in Rio during Carnival. And because samba music is one of Brazil’s biggest expressions of cultural identity and symbol of the country as a whole, no one’s really going to get mad if someone brings a really impressive sound system to blare it on the beach (mostly). You’re more likely to start an impromptu beach dance party than meet someone who isn’t a fan. Oh, and being a wallflower at these things does not fly; you WILL be pulled in -- because dancing the samba, which everyone grew up with, is a part of everyday life.
Because a day at the beach is more than just a tanning session
While there are people laying around in the sun tanning, beaches are hotbeds of activity, especially when you get away from the more touristic, cabana-strewn beaches in big cities like Rio. You’ll spot zumba classes, beach volleyball, and barbecues up and down the shore as well as people playing drinking games, because you can drink on the beach. If you’re hitting up one of the busier beaches, a waiter from a cabana will walk your sweating caipirinha to you onto the sand (or make it fresh, right in front of you). And whether you go to a fancy beach or a less busy shoreline, there will always be people walking around the sand trying to sell you things -- ice cream, coconuts, white cheese grilled over a tiny charcoal fire, fried pastels (similar to empanadas), and fried fish and shrimp. You know, the kind of stuff you actually want people to offer you on the beach.