Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mardi Gras x 9,000,000 = Carnaval

Last night marked the beginning of the world-famous Brazilian celebration, Carnaval. If you haven't heard of Carnaval, I first ask you what rock have you been hiding under? Ha, just kidding. If you haven't heard of Carnaval, think "Mardi Gras in New Orleans," multiply the intensity by 9 million and then spread it throughout the entire country, and there you have Brazilian Carnaval. It's the biggest holiday in Brazil ,(today as I paid my rent, the girl wished me a 'Happy Carnaval' as I was leaving,) though unofficial, and everything closes for a period of 5 days so everyone can celebrate adequately.

Last night, as I was flipping through the channels, I saw the beginning of the Carnaval parade getting under way in Rio de Janeiro. I stopped and watched for a bit, this being my first Carnaval ever, and I quickly realized why churches across the country always go on retreats at this time of year to get away from the "craziness." :) Let's just say Brazilian culture is expressed at its finest, with really colorful floats, costumes, and talented dancers dancing Samba through the streets. (Some of whom seem to have forgotten their costumes at home.)

So, needless to say, I am leaving in an hour to go on our church's Carnaval retreat. Natal is actually pretty calm during Carnaval, whereas most people leave Natal to go to other cities for the celebrations, but we will still spend today through Wednesday at a little house outside the city to be together, rest, and relax. I'm excited, as I always have a great time on the retreats with the church (despite my early bedtime.)

Please pray for our safety and the safety of my readers (many of whom went to Carnaval celebrations around Brazil...) as things always get a bit crazy during this time. I pray that our retreat will be enriching for those of us who are there, and that those who aren't with us will also have the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord, wherever they might be.

Happy Carnaval, everyone!

1 comment:

OutsidersIn said...

I'm sure your Mardi Gras parties at Carnival are much better, but we even had a Mardi Gras party here in northeastern Tennessee - there are pics on my myspace as proof, and they will soon appear on the blog later this week or next. Oh, and I finally remembered to add you to my blogroll, so you're officially cool now. Love you friend!