01 February 2010

BT5: Feliz Natal

It was just around the transition from November to December that we were in Brazil - so of course they were busy decorating the city for the approaching holiday season. Interestingly, in Brazil they associate Christmas with the same symbols as we do in our own, more northern, region: snow, rotund Santa Clauses in heavy, red coats, decorated Christmas trees, and polar bears (?!). Snow undoubtedly seems exotic and alluring in these latitudes - in a country where snow and frost is hardly ever seen (except in the mountains in the southernmost states). But when sweating profusely in the early subtropical summer a couple of wads of cotton in the hedge just don't appear very convincing.

On Avenida Paulista it seemed a bit like the large banks were trying to outdo each other with opulent Christmas decorations. It is possible that more came up after we left the area, but otherwise our first prize goes to the establishment pictured below. In broad daylight it merely appeared a bit overloaded with Christmas decorations, but starting in late November and every evening between 6 and 10 pm for the rest of the year they put on their Christmas show with talking mechanical puppet dogs, a dancing and Christmas-medley-singing choir, and snow machines every twenty minutes.

Did we mention the Christmas trees? A metropolis the size of São Paulo unsurprisingly requires a large and impressive Christmas tree - never mind if it is actually a single large real tree.

But it was certainly big: looking closely one can just make out the man standing near the top - just by the ladder leading up to the large Christmas star.

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