I LOVE RIO is passionate about culture, and
looks to cover the great wealth of artistic creativity that glitters
across the city, in all its traditional and innovative forms and
Rio de Janeiro's repertoire of traditional culture is
expounded, including film festivals, theatre productions, art
exhibitions, and dance shows. Artistic manifestations from posh theatre
productions to authentic favela treasures are showcased to readers,
adding greater texture to the city's cultural portfolio.
CARIOCAS ARE THE SOUL OF RIO
'Culture' is an open and fluid term which refers to
anything produced by the human intellect. It includes traditional art,
such as film, theatre, dance and exhibitions, as well as everyday
recreations which form the essence and character of a population. Rio de
Janeiro is truly rich in heritages and diversity, combining creativity
When Rio de Janeiro comes to mind, there are plenty
of images: pristine beaches, soccer, carnival, barbequed meat, and the
national drink "caipirinha" - yet, more than anything, it is the people
of the city that make Rio what it is.
Called "Cariocas," rio's inhabitants form a very
culturally diverse group, as they come from different heritages,
cultures and creeds - with undeniable traits bonding the culture
together: an overall good mood, love for life, friendliness, and warm
Open and welcoming, Cariocas are the vital part of
what makes Rio such a popular destination: gifted with a naturally
optimistic attitude, people of Rio are uniquely distinguishable by
their genuine smile, spontaneity and inquisitive nature.
Central to the overall Carioca culture is the vital
role that family and friends play into one another's lives: birthdays
are always celebrated surrounded by many friends and by the extended
family, and any occasion is the perfect chance to get together and
socialize. Sports, music, and the sunny outdoors are best enjoyed in the
company of others, and week-end barbeques are a staple of local living.
Part of the local philosophy is the sincere interest
in learning about ways and manners of other parts of the world, and
incorporating many new elements in the local cultural landscape, giving
birth to special Carioca expressions such as the musical genre Bossa
Nova and a variety of gastronomic, artistic, and literary gems.
One aspect that lends Cariocas their distinct spirit
is the tendency to incorporate influences from many different cultures
in a charming and playful style.
Over the past century, the laid back atmosphere,
beautiful scenery and open-hearted people of Rio have acted as 'muse'
for great authors, poets, and composers such as Tom Jobin and Vinicius
de Moraes, creators of the landmark Bossa Nova song 'Garota de Ipanema'
(Girl from Ipanema).
These same aspects of the city have attracted some of
the most talented artists from around the world, and a great influx of
human capital has instigated phenomenal developments in the cultural
produce of the city.
The most famous and internationally visible
expression of Carioca culture is the truly spectacular Carnival
celebration that takes place every year: thousands of residents
marching in unison parading very sophisticated costumes at the sound
of Samba music.
World famous around the world for decades, Carnival
in Rio is a truly wild and spectacular five-day celebration, involving
millions of people, and permeating every corner of the city, day and
night. Held 40 days before Easter, Carnival officially begins on Friday
and ends of fat Tuesday. However, pre-Carnival celebrations start at
least one week in advance, and continue until the Sunday after fat
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro dates back to the 17th
century, when the Portuguese nobility held parties and celebrations
based on their noble European traditions. Over time, these celebrations
absorbed elements specific to Indigenous and African culture, and
culminated in a unique and highly spectacular blend deeply influenced by
Beyond Carnival, in Rio de Janeiro a vast array of
artistic and everyday expressions glitter across the city every day of
the year, often inspired by the city itself and the presence of
countless artists, writers, and musicians.
Especially important in Rio de Janeiro, Bookstores
pepper the streets of the city, hosting a wide array of important
artistic events, such as book launches, readings, recitals and
discussions. They are spaces of mingling, where everyday people,
artists, and intellectuals meet and share ideas, and where literature
and art blend with coffee, food, music, leisure and debate.
Rio has also developed acclaim over the past decades
for its contribution to the world of visual arts. This is partly due to
public and private investment in galleries and exhibitions across the
city: the Museu de Arte do Rio (Rio Art Museum) was inaugurated in 2013,
and hosts delightful exhibitions and events throughout the year. The
Museu de Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art), as well as the Centro
Cultural Banco do Brasil (Bank of Brazil Cultural Center), also offer a
program of internationally recognized exhibitions.
Another aspect of Rio's cultural repertoire is its
theatre. The "Teatro Municipal," or Municipal Theatre, is one of the
most striking buildings in the city. Built in the baroque style in
Cinelandia in 1909, it primarily exhibits classical concerts, operas and
ballets, as well as some musical theatre. The OI Institute has also set
up two theatres in the neighborhoods of Flamengo and Ipanema, running a
wealth of different artistic performances, providing an extensive
program of theatre for young and old audiences.
The city's culture can also be defined as the
everyday activities and mannerisms of its people. Graffiti art,
skateboarding, fishing and kite flying are key components of
contemporary Carioca life, along while certain expressions,
gestures, tastes and tendencies form the shared fabric of a rich and
The "Jeito Carioca," or Carioca way, is a famous term
used to denote the creative, positive and ingenious way that the people
of Rio approach obstacles and adversity.
These characteristics emerge as much from the
affluent areas of the city as they do from the communities atop Rio's
hills. Favelas have long, varied and vibrant histories and traditions
which continue to have a hugely influential role in the formation of the
city's essential character.
Increased development and investment in the city
have led to the creation of events that have unquestionably advanced
literature, film and art on the global stage, and expanded access to
culture amongst Rio's inhabitants.
The "Festival of Rio," which began in 1999, is one of
the most important film festivals in the world and has showcased some of
the greatest talent in direction, including Costa Gavras, João Pedro
Rodrigues, and world-famous actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy
Irons and Helel Mirren.
The city hosts an international book fair, where
publishers, booksellers, authors, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts gather to
discover and discuss literature, offering a space for provocative and
fruitful communication between intellectuals and the wider public.
Each year, Rio holds Anima Mundi, an animation film
festival screening ground-breaking and engaging animated motion pictures
from across the globe. Recognized by the international academy of the
OSCARs, it is the biggest animation event in Latin America, acting as a
platform for the newest and most original artists in the field.
For one weekend each winter, painters, sculptors and
visual artists throw open the doors of their homes and studios in the
creative heartland of the city - the beautiful and bohemian hillside
neighborhood of Santa Teresa – for an event called Arte de Portas
Abertas (Open Doors Art).
Since 2003, Rio de Janeiro State has hosted the
highly prestigious FLIP festival in the charming and historic town of
Paraty. The International Festival of Literature has brought together
some of the best-loved and critically acclaimed contemporary writers,
including Julian Barnes, Don DeLillo and Hanif Kureishi.
Highlighting the religious aspect of Rio de
Janeiro's culture, the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer looms
majestically over the city, symbolizing and testifying to the deep
rooted connection between Cariocas and the Christian faith -
portrayed with wide open arms, the monument reminds all visitors of
the welcoming nature of the city and its people.
Brazil is a very religious country, and because of
the diversity of its population, often religions incorporate influences
from Catholicism, Protestantism, Paganism, European Spiritism,
Indigenous beliefs and African religions and rituals - highlighting the
exemplary openness and cultural integration of both Rio de Janeiro and
of the country as a whole.
The two most predominant influences on the
population's faith are European Christianity, and the sacraments and
customs that migrated to the country along with the African slaves.
Until the mid-20th Century over 90% of Brazilians were Catholic, making
the country the largest Catholic country in the world, with a rapid
growth in Evangelical Protestantism over the last 50 years.
Religious holidays and festivities take place
throughout the year in homage to saints and sacred dates of great
importance in Brazilian folkloric and Catholic history. All throughout
June, July and parts of August, Rio plays host to a wide range of
outdoor and indoor parties in honor of important saints, imbuing the
Catholic celebrations with traditional Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian
music and cuisine, such as Forró music and a variety of traditional