Friday, April 11, 2014

Brazil: State of Ceará
Ceará flag

Ceará (Portuguese pronunciation: [siaˈɾa]) is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of Fortaleza that is the principal cultural, commercial, and seaboard shipping centre. Other principal towns are Juazeiro do Norte, Sobral, Crato, Iguatu, and Crateus.

Literally, the name Ceará means "sings the jandaia" - jandaia = specie of parakeet. According to José de Alencar, one of the most important writers of Brazil and an authority in Tupi Guaraní, Ceará means turquoise or green waters. There are also theories that the state name would derive from Siriará, a reference to the crabs from the seashore.

The state is best known for its extensive and beautiful coastline, with 600 kilometers (370 mi) of sand. There are also mountains and valleys producing tropical fruits. To the south, on the border of Paraíba, Pernambuco and Piauí, is the National Forest of Araripe. (search: Wikipedia) 
The raft, still common along the coast, is considered one of the greatest symbols of the people and culture of Ceará. Land of the writers Rachel de Queiroz, Patativa do Assaré and José de Alencar, Ceará also found the greatest humorists of the Country as Renato Aragão, Tom Cavalcante and Chico Anysio.
Raft. Photo flickr by Francisco Aragão
Trail on National Forest of Araripe
Significantly, Ceará was one of the very first places in the country to do away with the system of slavery.

The state of Ceará has a total area of just under 150 000 square kilometres. It is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco and Piauí as well as by the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The vegetation of this state varies from mangroves and jungles to scrublands and dense tropical forests. Caatinga is another prevalent form of vegetation in Ceará, and is characterized by scrubby forests. This is a type of vegetation that is endemic to Brazil but Ceará concentrates 55% of all caatinga of the Country. This state suffers from very dry, harsh conditions during some seasons, resulting in the desertification of many areas at these times. In general, the climate is humid on the coast and dry further inland, but always hot. The average noon temperature is between 33 and 40 degrees Celsius. The rainy season is between January and June, while July to December is the dry season.
Caatinga vegetation. Photo
The carnauba tree is the symbol of Ceará and occupy large tracts in the backcountry.
Carnauba trees. Photo
Ceará exports, amongst other products, leather shoes, crustaceans, cashew nuts and fruit.

The main tourist attractions in Ceará include:

• Canoa Quebrada Beach

• Morro Branco

• Praia Do Futuro

• The colonial buildings of Aracati

• The House of Miracles in Fortaleza (credit to brazil)

Ceará Government web site:

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