9 Peculiar Phenomena on the Brazilian Beach

The Beach is one of the most important social venues for a Brazilian. After having passed some months on the beaches of Brazil, I’ve summarized a couple phenomena that I’ve only seen happen on Brazilian beaches.

Canasvieiras, Florianopolis in March 2014

Agglomeration
Brazilians are social creatures, so they all conglomerate at the position on the beach with the most people, which becomes so crowded that you have difficulty walking.  Whereas the other end of the beach will be completely empty…

Sunflower effect
Brazilians will turn to face the sun, no matter what direction it is in. Consequently, once the sun goes down, Brazilians disappear from the beach faster than you can say “caipirinha”

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Folks, the ocean is behind you..

Gothic style sand castles
Whereas American sand castles are built with sand toys and containers, Brazilian sand castles are molded by hand. Therefore, they all look like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia

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Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina

Sitting in water
Brazilians like to bring their beach chairs into the water, in rivers or on the beach, and let the waves wash over their feet or body

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Barra da Lagoa, Florianopolis

Beer-shaped coolers
The Brazilian beer market has capitalized on the huge market of beach-goers and created coolers in the form of a cute beer can. Talk about ingenuous marketing! Furthermore, many of the barracks that sell food, and even the umbrella rental guys are often branded by the beer company.

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Budweiser fans in Praia Brava, Itajai

Sedentary shopping (better than online shopping!)
While relaxing on the beach, an array of vendors will automatically approach you to sell you goods. Your service vendors range from  the ever-popular bikini vendor, the hippie trinket seller, the Brazilian canga merchant, the tattoo person, to the masseuse. For food, you have a choice of empanadas (usually Argentinian), meandering churro vendor (usually Argentinian), queijo coalho (usually sold by a black northeastern-er), shrimp seller, barbecue griller, coconut carts, caipirinha carts, choripan carts, corn & pomonha carts… basically anything you can think of. All these options without even having to lift your butt up from your beach chair!

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#selfie with the Argentinian churros vendor, Praia da Galheta, Florianopolis

Canga
Forget the beach towels, if you’re Brazilian, you sit on a CANGA! You can quickly spot the foreigner by looking at whether or not they have a canga or a beach towel. These function as a mat to sit on at the beach, and as a sarong. They’re light, easy to pack, and don’t get sand caught in them. I personally love them!!

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My first canga, a design by Romero Britto, one of the most famous Brazilian artists.

Wearing flip flops on your ankle
When it is hard to walk on the sand with shoes but you don’t want to carry your flip flops in your hands, just wear them on your ankles like my friend Diego from Rio does.

When it's hard to walk on the beach with flip flops but you don't wanto

Thongs (Sunga in Portuguese)
Butts butts and butts at P12, Florianopolis. Photo: FoursquareButts butts and butts at P12, Florianopolis. Photo: Foursquare

Brazilian thong is also nicknamed “Dental Floss” (Fio Dental in Portuguese)… No explanations needed 😉

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