By Milli Legrain, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Catholics traditionally honor their dead on November 2nd, commonly known as Dia dos Finados (or Dia dos Mortos), when they flock to local cemeteries to visit departed loved ones. Once again around October 31st this year, establishments in Ipanema, Copacabana, Lapa and beyond are also getting ready to celebrate Halloween in a style that is becoming as customary here as overseas.
Halloween is a pagan festival that dates back to Celtic tradition. In Brazil it is known as Dia das Bruxas (Day of the Witches) and, though not as popular as elsewhere in the world, “Brazilians are picking up on Halloween because they love to party,” says Carioca shopkeeper Claudio Gordilho, “and it undeniably has a commercial element to it.”
Those wanting to celebrate should head to the Gringo Café´s Halloween Cocktail Party running from 7PM to 1AM on Thursday, October 31st. DJ Slim will be spinning classic house, funk and disco tunes and there will be prizes for best costumes. Before 10PM, all domestic cocktails will be on offer for R$10 and long-neck beers will be R$5-R$6.
“I love celebrating Halloween in Brazil. It is something that had been missing until recently. And I´m thrilled to offer that option,” said Sam Flowers, the owner of Gringo Café, who settled in Rio five years ago and is behind the café’s famous seasonal baking.
Also on Thursday night, the Lapa Irish Pub will be hosting a costume party featuring Black Sabbath tribute band Bat Salad, Paula Kaiser spitting The Devil´s Fire as well as the Hot Go-Go Dancers from Hell (entrance R$20).
On Friday, those looking for something spectacular should check out the Halloween festivities kicking off at 10PM on the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. The event will feature DJs Gigga What, João Brasil, Cix & Yasmin, Zeh Pretim, Bernardo Malta, Mary Lou.
Tickets, starting at R$180, can be bought online or at the Sugarloaf Mountain ticket office from 11AM to 2PM and 3PM to 7:50 PM. Entrance includes an open bar, two dance floors and access by cable car, but don’t forget to dress up in your best and blackest.
Continuing the theme on Saturday, Mab´s in Copacabana will be hosting a karaoke costume party. Best costume wins a glass of Prosecco, and winners of the best karaoke performance will earn themselves a glass of wine. The party will run from 7:30 PM to at least 10:30 PM (entry R$10).
Alternatively on November 2nd, the trendy Praia Club will be hosting a Haunted Beach Party on the banks of the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, with house music from top local DJs starting at 11PM.
Those who still haven’t got their costumes should check out Club da Fantasia shop in Copacabana or Atelie Mundo da Fantasia in Tijuca, as well as costume classic SAARA market in Centro. Costumes for adults and kids can also be found online or rented in the Catete neighborhood at Aparatus Fantasia.