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Is this what heaven is like? I must have bumped into at least a dozen angels’ wings at Palmer Auditorium during Carnaval 2008.

In a world where our government taps phone lines and searches our airline luggage, thank Venus we have a party that encourages us to be ourselves without worry of consequences. Why does it take a Brazillian tradition for us to embrace the freedom of expression this country was founded on?

—-Okay, gentlemen, please help me down from my soapbox. Thank you.—–

Carnaval 2008 was mucho fabulous! I samba-danced the night away in my bikini and heels, with a bright orange feather boa and plenty of mardi gras beads draped around my neck. My friend Lily and I both had Georgia O’Keefe-inspired flowers painted on our bellies, and wore white orchids in our hair. What did you wear, Darling? Whether you had an elaborate costume or just wore jeans and a t-shirt, I hope that you connected with the spirit of the event.

Award winning Beleza Brazil, formerly Grupo Saveiro. had us under their spell with pulsating drums and enchanting vocalist Kenia. There was also a performance by Academicos da Opera, an Austin samba school, that featured a drum circle, costumed dancers and oversized mascots. My only question was, “how can I get a scholarship to samba school?”

Everybody loves a costume party, and Carnaval is the party of this and every year. Unlike Halloween, it is not about demons and devils. It is about celebration and acceptance, allowing you to freely express yourself, and join thousands of other revelers in doing so. Viva Carnaval!


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  1. Sara McCormick

    yes yes yes

  2. sambaperson

    Just FYI,
    Samba Schools use the term “school” in the same way one would describe a school of fishes…a group doing 1 thing together. Not in the sense of a traditional “school” for learning something. sorry.