Although all thecarnaval attractions in all Brazilian cities, Olinda is proud to say that it has one of the best and largest carnaval in the world,famous for its parties for all tastes!
In anyplace,one thing is for sure:your feet itch to start jumping and dancing at the crazy rhythm of the Pernambuco carnaval.
The "Frevo",typical Pernambuco dance,is a contagious dance,that bewitches whoever is among people during the carnaval week.
With all the streets and hills collorfully decorated,the customs reveal the Northestern folks.
"Trocas" and "Maracatu"(mostly african influences), begin a week before carnaval,and end,sadly,on theSunday fater carnaval.
Even on Ash-wednesday,the merry-maing continues!!
The carnaval in Olinda is the best with its rowsof dressed-up revelers and tipical huge
puppets.Big groups in magnificent parades dance,side by side,with improvised others!
But in everyone,any one can see is the mark of the irreverent,but traditional carnaval.
Spontaneous and creative,that's the key!
It's the carnaval of the history and folklore,the carnaval of the erudite and multitude,all synonimous of Olinda's carnaval!!
This last carnaval was a specila one because Olinda celebrated 20 years with the title of Cultural Patrimony from UNESCO.
THIS IS WHAT OLINDA IS..
Hills arbitrarily from the shoreline and winding upwards,dividing and crossing each other..narrow streets adorned with collorful houses,niches,balconies,waterspouts...2 historical houses with Moorish baloconies,austere convents...churches with
rich ornaments,fantastic outlook points..birthplace fo Brazilian culture,literature,theater,painting and sculpture,emerged there first...the first Law School in Brazil..
THIS IS WHAT OLINDA IS!
THE RICH AND EXOTIC CUISINE FROM OLINDA
Influenced by African,Indigenous and European cultures,Olinda mixes its ingredients to produce a rich and exotic cuisine,based on natural products:manioc,seafood,coconut,fruits,greens,roots and vegetables.
TAPIOCA:this omelet-like delicacy,is based on a thin pancake,made from manioc starch,filled with grated coconut and sour cheese.
At the top of "Se",48 specialists make this delicacy!
Apart from tasting the authentic "tapioca" and coconut water,one can apreciate the magnificient view of Olinda and Recife from there!
Preparing for Carnaval
I missed carnaval in Olinda by a few days -- having chosen to spend a night in Rio's sambadromo -- but preparations were everywhere.
The stalls in my picture were set up by vendors on Rua do Bomfim, just up the street from Praca do Carmo.
The "Arte Sacra Museum" shows religious style arts,if you visited this kind of museum in Salvador or Sao Paulo,you can be a bit disapointed here!
The very steep "Da Misericordia" street,leads down towards the "Do Amparo" street.
This is the most beautiful and interesting street ,in my opinion, in Olinda,featuring small brightly collorful colonial houses,packed with galleries,restaurants and shops.
The "Largo Do Amparo"square,gives the feeling of a little mexican square.
Living the square and following "Amparo"street,it becomes "Treze De Maio" street,than you'll find the "Mamulengo Puppet Museum.
The small 3 floor museum assembles puppets used in Northeastern folk dramas,the guide explains the puppets and than let you fiddle them.
Almost next door,the Comteporary Art Museum,what is cool but a little poor in its exhibitions,it's built in a former prison house.
The good news is that a large nbr of churches and monasteries in Olinda are undergoing needed renovations,but,due to limited funding and sometimes poor planning,can take years to complete,leaving the buildings closed for visitation,devoid of arts and altars in the churches!!