It is about 10 p.m. and you are walking down the middle of one of the main roads in Florianopolis, Brazil. However, at this time it isn’t filled with cars like it usually is, but instead filled with thousands and thousands of people.
You are wide awake because you woke up hours ago due to the previous nights’ events. Your feet are tender from the dancing and walking but you continue to walk because you don’t know when you will get this opportunity again. You hear various types of music; funk, samba, pop, coming from the stage ahead and the cars parked on the side.
You hear the laughter and screams of excitement coming from the people around you. You look to the people you are with and smile, knowing you are the luckiest exchange students. You walk past men dressed as women in skirts, dresses and heels, some even have their make-up done.
Women and children are dressed in what look like Halloween costumes but you know that can’t be right because you are in Brazil, and it is Carnival 2014.
From Feb. 28 to March 5, restaurants, stores, business and schools close for the annual Carnival celebration. Carnival is celebrated during the days leading up to Lent with feasts, parties, dancing and relaxation.
The first night of Carnival, I took a bus into the city.
As soon as I got on the bus, I knew Carnival was going to be amazing. Everyone was already dressed up in bright costumes, masks and spent the whole bus ride singing. The first night in my city consisted of Bloco do Sujos (Dirty Block) which is the biggest celebration. It is common that men are dressed as women in skirts, dresses, tight tops and heals. Some are in wigs and have bright makeup on as well. The other girl exchange students and I dressed the boys and did their makeup. Once the boys were all prettied up, we hit the streets.