Once playing an important role in the country’s history, Salvador has a rich and interesting culture that would amaze its tourists. A visit in the city is not complete without immersing yourself with the city’s culture.
Music and Art
The capital of the state of Bahia, Salvador is also the heart of the Afro-Brazilian culture in the country. It is home to many famous Brazilian groups like, Ilê Aiyê and Olodum, and the birthplace of renowned artists such as, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.
Feasts and Celebrations
Adding to the already-colorful culture of the city is the fact that it is regarded to have the biggest street party in the world through its Carnival. Trucks called Trio Elétrico, which have deafening sound systems enough to bring the whole Salvador in party mode – dancing to the tune of pagode (a combination of Brazilian music styles) and Axé. Each year, over 800,000 people from around Brazil and the whole world horde the streets of Salvador to join in the fun of the Carnival.
Aside from the Carnival, Salvador’s Feast of Saint John (or São João) is considered the next big celebration in the city. Taking place mid June, the feast is very popular, particularly in the northeast part of the country. During this event, the whole city is filled with the sound of Forro – catchy “hick” dance music, played especially on winter months. Traditionally, Forro features a drum with triangle and accordion. However, with modern times, the music has now had modern influences with the addition of electric guitar in its ensemble. Saint John celebration in Salvador is never complete without Forro as it helps establish the festive atmosphere. All around the city, you will see people dancing, flirting, chatting, and even drinking the famous drink of Saint John, the persimmon liquor.
Part of the city’s culture is Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art brought by the African slaves, some 400 years ago. The sport begins with berimbau, a traditional instrument; the movement type as well as the speed is dictated with the sound of berimbau. Capoeira comes in two kinds: Angola and Regional. The first is the oldest form of the sport, combining self defense, balance, and music, while the latter is the newest form of Capoeira, which is more acrobatic as it is faster.
There is never a dull moment in Salvador. While you are enjoying its breathtaking attractions, its culture will give you further learning about the city’s past and better appreciation of it.