Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world. It is situated on the East side of the continent of South America. The official language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese and the currency that people use there is called real. The capital is Brasilia, although the biggest city is São Paulo.
Brazil was a Portuguese colony for about 3 centuries before declaring Independence in 1822 and now it is a presidential republic – they have a president and a constitution. The territory of the country is so huge that it borders all countries in South America with the exception of Chile and Ecuador. But this immense area offers another great advantage as well – incredible biodiversity due to the various geographic areas that the land consists of – from the coastline, mountains and pampas to the Amazon rainforest. 20% of the planet’s biodiversity lives in Brazil. Very important animals are the jaguar and the puma, different kinds of monkeys but also reptiles as the largest snake on Earth – the anaconda. Brazil is home to 55000 different species of plants as well. The almost 7500 km long coastline ensures that Brazil has incredible beaches to offer. Some of the most famous ones are Copacabana and Ipanema.
Rio de Janeiro, the second biggest city in the country, is where the annual Rio Carnival is held. This vibrant festival attracts millions of visitors each year which makes it the largest carnival in the world. Music is fundamental for this event. During the parade the participants play music instruments and dance samba – a traditional Brazilian dance with an African origin. It has a very specific rhythm. The samba dancers are upbeat, smiling and confident, wearing extravagant colourful costumes and enormous hats with a lot of feathers.
Rio de Janeiro is also famous for the statue of Christ the Redeemer watching over the city. It is an Art Deco statue, 30 metres tall and stands on an 8-metre pedestal. The width of the stretched arms is 28 metres. The construction of the statue was complete in 1931 and has since then become a cultural icon for Rio de Janeiro and a popular tourist attraction.
The most popular sport in Brazil is football. Some of the greatest football players are Brazilian – Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Romario. The men’s national team is the only team to have participated in all FIFA World Cup tournaments; it has also won 5 of them – more than any other team in the world.