Category Archives: Festivals

Lavagem do Bomfim festival and parade – demystified

When January arrives in Salvador, every day is a pre-funk for Carnaval. We roll right out of one of the biggest New Year’s Festivals in the world and just keep partying. One of those signature days is Lavagem do Bomfim. This festival falls on either the second or third Thursday of the month, depending upon […]

Celebrating Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Immaculate Conception)

In this city that is deeply connected to Africa and in a country that is very religious, residents cherish the opportunity to connect with their spiritual ancestors.  And let’s be honest, they are always looking for a reason to party, as well. December 8th is the day of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, or the immaculate […]

Ultimate Guide to Salvador Carnaval 2020

What do you think of when you hear “Brazil Carnaval”? I bet it’s the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval with the sambadrome, women in high heels, and feathery costumes. That is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime spectacular. And pretty much the complete opposite of what you’ll find at Salvador’s millions-strong 6-day street party/city takeover. When is Salvador’s Carnaval […]

pandeiro tamborine

Dance along to the National Day of Samba in Salvador

What music and dance form has its own verb and national day of recognition? Samba! That’s what. The verb: sambar The day: December 2nd A brief history of samba The history of samba is disputed, with both Bahia and Rio de Janeiro claiming to have originated the dance and musical form. However, what is generally […]

fireworks

The Magic of New Year’s in Salvador

New Year’s Eve celebrations are a big deal around the world, but in Salvador we take it to a different level. The phrase “go big or go home” is true when it comes to Salvador and its ability to throw a party. We host the biggest New Year’s celebration in Brazil — a free multi-day […]

Pelourinho full of people for the Festival of Santa Barbara

Celebrating at the Festa de Santa Bárbara

December 4 in Salvador marks the official un-official kickoff of the Carnaval season. It is the Festa de Santa Bárbara / Dia de Iensã. While not an official holiday, that doesn’t stop more than ten thousand people from commemorating. I encourage you to watch the video above. A picture is worth a thousand words, and […]

Street scene from Salvador carnival, 2018

Beginner’s Guide to Carnaval in Salvador

To say my first Salvador carnival experience was overwhelming and bewildering would be an understatement. First, there were new and unfamiliar terms — bloco, camarote, pipoca, circuit, fantasia, adabá — that I had to understand to navigate the behemoth event. Second, in the two months since I had last been to Salvador, the logistics of […]

Fantasia of Cortejo Afro, Carnival 2018

Carnaval Fantasia and Abadás

When I heard I needed a costume for carnaval, I instantly thought of the glittered masks of New Orleans Mardi Gras. My friend and I went on a shopping adventure, walked out with masks and feather boas, and showed up on the carnaval circuit all ready to go. Excerpt we totally weren’t. We completely mis-understood […]