Rio de Janeiro is considered by many tourists as the friendliest city in the world. The inhabitants, who are known as cariocas, are mainly characterized for their good and funny mood. The unique requisite to be a truly carioca is having a relaxing lifestyle in the amazing city of Rio de Janeiro. One of the most important concepts of lifestyle in Rio is that time is flexible, this means there is no need for being in a hurry unless for a business meeting or similar. People commonly arrive half an hour late to meetings, considering that they are arriving perfectly on time. If you are planning a trip to Rio, be relax because you will probably have some delays.
The cariocas are always polite with strangers and they are recognized for their sympathy towards foreign people. They usually hug each other and keep a lot of body contact, two kisses on the cheeks is a normal greet in informal situations. Carnival in Rio has a strong influence in the people’s culture and the party atmosphere is expressed in every corner of the city all the year around. The idea of enjoying life is permanent among the cariocas.
Rio de Janeiro is quite a cosmopolitan city with a sophisticated urban lifestyle. In the last decades immigrantsfrom all over the world arrived to Rio looking for its unique lifestyle. The different religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds have not been a problem to live peacefully. Across the world there are few developed cities with skyscrapers in front of beautiful beaches, and Rio de Janeiro is one of these.
Most of the people in Rio have European, African or Native Brazilian roots. Most of cariocas are catholic, however they also believe in Buda, Yemanjá and other deities.
Daily Life in Rio de Janeiro
Cariocas love to socialize – at happy hours, at the beach or simply by walking in the street.
Life in Rio de Janeiro is very much like life in any other major city in the world. There are only a few behaviors that are particular to this city. Cleanliness is very important to a Carioca. They usually brush their teeth several times a day and shower or bathe at least twice a day. Their heaviest meal is at lunch and when they are at home the television is always on. A lot of people enjoy happy hours after a hard day of work, cariocas love to socialize and are known for being happy laid back people. Being a beach city, it is only fair that when cariocas are not at work and the sun is shining they head to the beach.
Most Cariocas get up quite early in the morning. Breakfast is not very heavy. It usually consists of fruit, coffee, bread and cheese, cereal or “vitamina”. Vitamina is a shake mixed in a processor that contains fruit, milk or water. Usually the television is on during breakfast to catch up on the news. Many people will go work out and then go home, shower and head to work.
Usually lunch break lasts 1 hour from noon until 1 pm. Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day with a lot of meat, starch and a few vegetables. With the exception of those who have late hours, most workers leave their jobs sometime between 5 pm and 7 pm.
As soon as a Carioca gets home they take a shower or bath and change into a T-shirt and shorts. Dinner is a very light meal usually consisting of tapas or appetizers. The TV goes on almost immediately so they can enjoy their soap operas or “novelas”. Younger professionals might visit a friend’s house for a party or go out to the nightclubs or movies.
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays is very common for a carioca to get together with their work colleagues for a cold draft beer in bars near their work places before going home.
Cariocas believe in working hard and playing harder. It is much more important to enjoy the moment rather than sacrifice fun to save for retirement. Cariocas love sports, especially soccer, footvolley and working out. On weekends the beaches are usually filled with games of all kinds. There are even spots along the beach where locals can go to pump iron. The atmosphere is always upbeat and light-hearted even at work.
The city that holds so many natural beauties set the mood for cariocas to live a healthy lifestyle. You will constantly see cariocas walking, exercising and making sure that they are fit enough for the swimwear for summer, actually not only summer, as Rio has beautiful weather all year long.
The Magic of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
From the beautiful and sexy beaches of Rio de Janeiro to Rio Carnival and the Rio Nightlife, the type of energy that the city of Rio emulates is just simply electrifying. What is even more exhilarating are the deliciously bronzed samba dancers, the pulsating music, the energy and applause of the spectators filled with Cariocas and visitors from around the world who call come to the same place to experience the world famous Rio Carnival. Held every year during the week leading up to Lent, Rio Carnival attracts visitors from all corners the globe. It is inconceivable to think of Rio without thinking of its unrivaled Carnival. Anticipation builds and the excitement grows as Carnival time gets closer and closer. Without a doubt, this is the favorite holiday celebration in Rio. The city glows with the smiles and energy of the locals — or Cariocas. Samba music can be heard coming from neighborhoods throughout the city and crowds gather to dance and play all day, night and straight into the next morning. It is the inherent spirit of the Cariocas and their true joie de vive that makes Rio Carnival such a glorious success year after year. With the excitement of the 2016 Summer Games, Rio Carnival 2015 promises to be one of the biggest and best Carnivals to date!
While preparations continue for the Carnival all year round, technical rehearsals by the samba schools are held at theSambadrome for a few weeks before the big weekend of competition. This is the prelude to the most extravagant, beautiful, and sexy spectacle, which the whole world waits for with baited breath. For every Carioca, this is a sign that their much awaited four-day holiday is around the corner. The Carnival is watched on television sets all over the world. The energy and spirit of the celebration transcend the one-dimensional view from the TV to captivate each viewer and draw him or her into the excitement and ecstasy of the festival.
The Party Never Stops
All else comes to a halt on the four days of the Carnival, with the exception of samba, women, beer, and partying all night long. Once the Sambadrome empties, the parties continue at every street corner all over the city. Throughout the neighborhoods of Rio Cariocas celebrate the arrival of the Carnival. People dance along the streets singing the songs of the Samba. Everyone comes together in friendship and fun to enjoy the balls, street parades and the excitement of the Sambadrome. Cariocas make no distinction between locals and foreigners, who are most welcome to participate in the event. In fact, visitors can grab a place on the samba strip as a participant with one of the samba schools. All you need is to buy one of the school specific costumes.
Some of the most important roles in the samba school include the “porta-bandeira” and the “mestre-sala”. The porta-bandeira is a very important lady who is in charge of the samba school’s flag and she is accompanied by the mestre-sala, who is supposed to draw everyone’s attention to “his queen”.
Besides the main samba parade which takes place in the “Sambadrome”, Rio has hundreds of “samba blocks” where all the smaller schools participate in different parades. Each neighborhood in Rio has its favorite Carnival street band. During these euphoric days, the street festivities are very common and are highly populated by locals. There are many parties taking place before, during and after Carnival in Rio, all day and night, some of them in the streets, some in the beaches and others inside the nightclubs. Carnival in the streets is a living proof of this passion.