Friday, February 7, 2014

Brazil - World Cup 2014!

The Brazuca, offical ball for the 2014 World Cup!

The World Cup 2014 will open in the Itaquera Arena in São Paulo, and it will end in world-famous Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, but between these two bookends are 29 days and 62 games, 6 of which will be disputed in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
Welcome to History!
The World Cup in The Land of Saints & Magic!
Salvador World Cup 2014!

The Brazil last hosted the World Cup in 1950. The final game was between Brazil and Uruguay, and Uruguay won. Brazil went uncharacteristically silent that day, the 16th of June, at 4:50 p.m.

But the noise is back and, sixty-four years later, so is the Cup! And for the first time ever Salvador is one of the host cities! It's the World Cup in Brazil's Cultural Capital, plus the month-long June festival season leading up to the Festa de São João (a festival regional to this part of Brazil), with partying and dancing (to a style of music known as forró) as only the Brazilians know how to do it, plus the beaches, plus the unique (Afro-Brazilian) cuisine, plus a second Carnival during part of the Salvador World Cup season (Salvador's "normal" Carnival is the largest in the world, bigger than Rio's). 

World Cup games will be played in Salvador on June 13th, 16th, 20th, 25th, July 1st and July 5th. Between games there's going to be a lot going on, with monster screens set up in Pelourinho (the Old Town) to broadcast games being played in other cities. (Search: salvadorcentral)

Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador-Bahia-Brazil). Photo: salvadorcentral

Inside Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova Photo: salvadorcentral

Things you must to know:
  • Salvador is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia.
  • Bahia is where Brazil (as a national entity) began, where the first Europeans landed.
  • Salvador was founded before Rio de Janeiro. It was Brazil's first capital (until 1763).
  • Bahia is where samba was born. It (samba) later moved to Rio with Afro-Bahians looking for work (much as the blues moved from the American South to northern cities with Afro-Americans looking for work).
  • Salvador is home to THE LARGEST CARNIVAL in the world.
  • There will be a second Carnival held during the period of the World Cup games (dates of this Carnival to be announced).
  • June in Bahia is a traditional month of festivals, culminating in the festa of São João on June 24th (the BIG party is on the eve of the festa, the 23rd). The music for this/these festas is forró, funky accordion-based Brazilian hillbilly music to which Brazilians dance like Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. Although São João is the really big one, the festas continue till the festa of São Pedro on the 29th.
  • Salvador is surrounded by beaches, and these beaches are one of the primary focuses of social life in Salvador (tie not necessary), where people go to hang out, drink coconut water and ice-cold beer, eat, dance, meet...

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