By Stephanie Foden, Contributing Reporter
SALVADOR, BRAZIL – Halloween in Brazil may not share the same level of popularity as in North America, but more and more of the seasonal celebrations are cropping up each year, thanks in part to a growing number of expatriates in the country. Brazilians’ appetite for such parties also shows no sign of abating, adopting the spirit with aplomb.
Many of these celebrations come from English-speaking communities such as the The American Society, Couchsurfing and language schools. Outside of this, a small but increasing number of stores, restaurants and bars are participating in the spook-loving holiday.
Private parties are increasingly common, like at the Swiss International School (SIS) in Brasília, which are holding an event for their students, parents and faculty. On October 31st, SIS is inviting students to dress up, eat treats and investigate the historical significance of Halloween.
“Here in Brasília, the SIS community embraces the chance to celebrate a foreign festival and the parents generally support the idea of fun behind the event,” explains David Norman, the school’s Director General. “Really it is an opportunity for the kids to dress up and have a bit of fun while learning a little bit about our English-speaking neighbors up North.”
Members of Couchsurfing, the network that connects travelers looking for a free bed with the world, will be throwing a Halloween party in São Paulo. Tickets to the festivities at Bargaça bar on November 2nd can be purchased for R$10 in advance at Couchsurfing meetings, or for R$20 at the bar’s entrance.
“Most of people in the CS group have lived abroad and used to celebrate this holiday, the others like the dress up party style,” said Couchsurfing member Gisela Guimaraes.
Also in São Paulo, the American Society (ASI) are hosting two events. On October 26th, ASI held a kid’s party at Marine House, near Shopping Morumbi with games, a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, crafts and snacks. On October 31st, the American Society is hosting a Halloween Happy Hour at PJ Clarke’s.
“Americans love Halloween and this is a tradition that the American Society of Sao Paulo wants to continue so our children can enjoy the joys of dressing up in costume, trick-or-treating and getting candy, as well as participating in traditional Halloween games,” explains Judy Zanchi, American Society of São Paulo Vice President.
In Salvador, Fundação Cultural da Bahia’s Walter da Silveira theater is getting in the Halloween spirit by showing classic horror films. The theatre is featuring movies such as Carrie, Dracula and Frankenstein daily from October 18th to October 31st from 5:30 PM to 8PM.
“This is the first time we have organized an event related to Halloween here at Fundação Cultural da Bahia. We hope to have an audience to justify turning it into a tradition,” said Adolfo Gomes, Audiovisual Director at Fundação Cultural da Bahia.
Bars around the country will also be throwing Halloween parties, such as Groove Bar in Salvador. The venue, known for its themed events honoring classic English-language music like their recent Beatles vs. Elvis Presley bash, will celebrate the scary holiday on November 1st. Tickets to the costume party are R$20 in advance and R$30 at the door.
“There is no tradition of children trick-or-treating here, but it’s a good excuse for adults to dress up in costumes,” reveals Groove Bar resident DJ Pinguim.
São Paulo’s Cabaret Electrique is having a Halloween party at the Cambridge Hotel with a dress code of “horror cabaret”. Tickets to the November 1st event are R$15.
There may be fewer option for the average Halloween enthusiast in Brazil compared to North America, but at least there are still more than enough witches, ghosts, zombies and goblins to go around.