Traditions of Brazil - The Traveller


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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Traditions of Brazil

Religions and beliefs

If Brazil is the largest Catholic country in the world, the fact remains that it is also the largest country in African religion Yoruba, referred to as the overall Candomblé. There are surely more devotees of Candomblé in Brazil than in Africa, about the same as Brazilian Catholics.

On Sunday morning, at Mass, everyone is Catholic, but on Monday night or any night of the week, the same will go to terreiro candomblé be possessed by the African gods or sacrificing an animal with the same fervor as in the Eucharist.


Religious rituals where beauty is part of the festival, each orixá candomblé characterized by a multitude of attributes, objects, materials, seven days a week, ornaments, jewelry, plants, colors, songs, drums, food preparation and specific sacrifices , a place that houses ... all of which show his presence, but may vary in different regions of Brazil.

The terreiros of Candomblé

The worship of orixás, Nigeria, except for major holidays community is primarily domestic. The conditions of survival of African cultures in Brazil have created the terreiros of Candomblé houses of worship as true community in the middle of a neighborhood.

It is a small parish house, surrounded by a small community of direct assistance, and who used his insider trading when he or she needs them for an important ritual. The terreiro provides assistance to the entire neighborhood.


Candomblé had to use pseudonyms instead of naming and representing orixás the way Yoruba, the terreiros and their followers the collection of images of saints of the Christian mythology, found in such a detail religious images, color, one subject who showed the presence of orixá.

The merger took place in the Brazilian imagination. This ended up creating a kind of Brazilian syncretism which we do not know which way it always honors, Christian or Yoruba.

The Umbanda

In the regions, cities or communities where black communities were less cohesive, the mask of Christian orixás of Candomblé evolved into various forms of syncretism that are grouped under the term of Umbanda.

Various sects and evangelism

There are all sorts of religions, from the more traditional (Orthodox Christians, Protestants of various schools, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Shinto), to more exotic, through the sects of the most extravagant local generation.

Concern, however, the rise in the slums of a phenomenon that goes beyond the Brazilian penchant for hair-raising religions: the breakthrough of cults in general, and especially Pentecostal evangelists.


In a hostile environment and rich, where the sacred is mingled with profane, the shaman (witch doctor) is one of the most significant Indian communities. Apart Guayaki Indians and GHGs, in whom we do not find a trace, shamanism is one of the traits of culture common to all the Amazon Basin.

Manners and customs

Some rules of life

Very demonstrative, Brazilians have easy contact, and we are given frequently abraço (hug) is also a word used to say goodbye. The report is free to the body along the coast, the tropical climate and the beach incentive to dress lightly, so to show her body. However, the topless on beaches remains taboo.


For transport by bus, schedules are often observed, except in cases of heavy rain, breakdown or accident. However, if you set an appointment with a Brazilian taxi driver, confirm it several times and expect a certain amount of delay. Patience is one of the great virtues of each Brazilian necessary to face the queues.


In restaurants, the service may or may not be included in the bill. If it is not, the note is increased by 10%, which does not always leave, in addition, a tip ... Added to this is also the most expensive restaurants, a 10% tax.

By taxi, it rounds the sum if the driver has shown nice or at short distances. We can also give 2-3 Rls doormen in hotels, as well as gas station attendants if they clean the windows and check the pressure.

If you travel by car in Brazil, you will notice every street parking, people who take to help you maneuver and keep an eye on your car. The function of these "gatekeepers" is not official but it is recognized. It always leaves one or two Rls to return.

Ditto for another little job: keeper umbrella ... They are found at the entrance of the stores as soon as rain comes!


It is rather frowned upon a bargain price in a craft store or even on the market. In a pinch, you will get a discount of 5 to 10% by emphasizing good. However, very tourist markets as Fortaleza and Salvador, feel free to negotiate prices.

Moreover, one can easily apply a discount on room rates in hotels and pousadas, Tour and sometimes car rental. Discounts are often given for a cash payment.


You throw toilet paper in a bin and not in the toilet because the system of sewerage and sewage are still far from being developed, sometimes forming in major cities of water channels Foul open.

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