One of my favorite idiosyncrasies of Brazilian culture is the complete lack of deference to dates. In the United States, the 4th of July is, and always will be, July 4th. Halloween is October 31st. Valentine’s Day is February 14th.
If you were to first hear about any of these holidays in Brazil, you’d have no idea that they corresponded to any particular date in time. In Brazil, it’s more about being able to celebrate when everyone can be there, rather than celebrating on the day of the holiday.
My favorite example? Last year, there was an anti-Valentine’s Day party in December, advertised as the last Valentine’s event of the year. In December. I looked at the description and whispered, “But that’s not how that works.”
Halloween is the same, which is why we went to a Halloween party last Friday, on October 20th. In this case, I was able to put my “But that’s not Halloween!” aside and enjoy since I won’t actually be in Rio during Halloween this year. And Halloween is my favorite holiday.
Two years ago, not long after I met Gustavo for the first time, I was trying to decide what to be for Halloween and I had recently finished reading Harry Potter. (I was very late to the party.) I grabbed a Hermione costume, and promptly did nothing that year on Halloween.
So this year, I finally got to pull out my Gryffindor sweater (even though I’m solidly in the Hufflepuff camp) and do my best Hermione impression. Gustavo went as a deatheater because if he wore a sweater he would indeed die. Here’s the thing about Halloween in Brazil — it’s springtime, which means we’re moving into “too hot to go outside” territory. In the US, I’m used to trying to find a costume that’s fun and cute, but also warm enough. Here, I’m trying to find a costume that’s comfortable and accurate, but also not deathly hot. It’s a challenge either way.