We don’t do carnival in Curitiba.
We have a couple of pre-carnival days a couple of weeks before the big holiday, but from the Friday before carnival the vast majority of people in this city escape to the beach, another city in Brazil that celebrates carnival or anywhere else at all.
The city is left to people who have to work, have no way of getting out or who just don’t like the idea of carnival.
There are a surprising number of Brazilians who actively dislike carnival. A lot of them live in Curitiba.
The city is empty. There is no traffic. The restaurants that are open don’t have queues. It is relaxing walking around the parks without the normal hordes. It is almost like a ghost town.
Except the ghosts are zombies.
Because, while we don’t have samba and blocos, we do have a very alternative crowd left in the city. The sort of people into psychobilly music, the living dead and motorbikes. So they get together and have their own parade through the city. A parade of zombies.
A lot of people put a lot of effort into their costumes. There are references to various films, songs and video games. The creativity is astounding.
There are also people who just slap a bit of red make-up on at the last-minute.
They all get together in one part of the city and walk to another part where there is live music of the pstchobilly/heavy metal variety. There are Hells Angels and families, lots of young people and the odd pensioner.
Funnily enough, there is hardly any police presence and, to my eyes at least, not a bit of bother.
So next year if you are in Brazil but don’t fancy the same old carnival routine, come down to Curitiba for a bit of peace and quiet and a lot of zombies.
We don’t do carnival in Curitiba. We do the walking dead.