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Brazil's Carnival and How It translates into its Business Culture

Brazil’s Carnaval and How It translates into its  Business Culture


Ah, Brazil and its festive Carnaval culture! Millions of travelers every year flock to this Latin American nation just for the opportunity to join in on the vibrant festivities that come with this yearly event. Whether experiencing the traditional Samba parades on Copacabana beach or sampling food from the street vendors, there is something extraordinary about immersing yourself in the cultural experiences that Carnaval symbolizes. Brazil offers a cornucopia of learning opportunities, both on the business and the cultural fronts. You need to understand and cross-reference them to get a better sense of what underlies their popular culture and current events within society.

The Carnaval of Rio de Janeiro might be one of the planet’s wildest and most vibrant celebrations. Still, many don’t know this centuries-old tradition has profoundly influenced Brazilian business culture. Let’s take a closer look at how Brazil’s carnaval culture has shaped its business environment.


The Origin of Carnaval in Brazil

Carnaval in Brazil dates back to the 16th century when Portuguese colonizers brought their traditions of celebrating pre-Lenten festivities. Over time, these traditions mixed with Brazil’s African and Indigenous cultures and gradually evolved into the wild celebration we now call Carnaval.

Today, the most iconic symbol of Carnaval is undoubtedly the “Samba Schools,” huge troupes of dancers, drummers, singers, acrobats, and floats that parade through Rio de Janeiro every February. Since 1932, Samba Schools have been competing against each other for awards and glory—a competition that has become an integral part of Brazilian identity and pride.

The Influence on Business Culture

In the vibrant nation of Brazil, business is conducted with a twist! Forget stuffy boardrooms and traditional handshakes – more deals get done over caipirinhas than over formal business setting. So carnval it’s not just celebration that brings joy here; it’s par for the course in how they conduct their workday affairs.

When planning to do business with Brazilian companies, it’s important to remember that February is a popular month for vacationing. As soon as the calendar rolls around, you will find many Brazilians in full carnaval mode – so plan accordingly!

Rio also is the carnaval that is famous around the word, but Brazil is a big country and each region has its own way of celebrating Carnaval.
For example, in Rio de Janeiro different samba schools compete to be part of the carnaval experience, where the best of the best will compete against each other. The winner takes a lot of funds for their community and businesses are sponsoring all the hard work that takes to get ready to participate, which is a year round affair.

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However, if you want to learn more about business and political  trends in the country, head over to Recife, where you will see figures of politicians and other famous characters being build and paraded around town.  In Brazil you may not be famous, popular or well known enough if your figure is not part of the Recife carnaval!

In most of the country, Carnaval spans over the 5 key days through ash wednesday.  However, if you’re in Salvador, then you’ll be celebrating carnaval the entire month.  Yep, 5 days of partying, parading, samba, and dancing is not enough for the residents of Salvador who choose to psend the entire month celebrating!  We can’t blame them, carnaval is a really fun experience and one to participate in at least once in your life.  Not only that, but by understanding the Brazilian’s passion for carnaval, you’ll better understand their business culture and people in general.

Because cultural awareness is so important, we invite the participants in our Rio de Janeiro programs to take a behind the scenes look into the carriages and music preparations of Carnaval, an unforgettable interactive experience that you won’t soon forget!