Cariocas love the summer in Rio. In general they believe that January and February are the best months of the year to be in the city. So, that’s now! We are living the best time of the year, woohoo!
It is true that during those months the weather can be very hot and the city is full of tourists. But no doubt that, although it is summer vacation time, you will massively find cariocas in Rio. In many places summer means packing your bags and go somewhere far away to have at least a bit of sun. Not in Rio. Sun enough. So many cariocas spend those months taking the best out of Rio.
Cariocas have a strong – almost genetic – aversion to cloudy days, and there is no better time to enjoy the sun than in January and February. It is time to recharge batteries for the year ahead. And nothing better than enjoying the two greatest spectacles of a good summer day: sunrise and sunset. Cariocas love and respect it so much, that it is not uncommon to see people applauding the sunset at the beach – it always gives me a chill.
Carnival during summer in Rio
And another important thing during this time of the year is the preparation for Carnival. Carnival happens seven weeks before Easter, so it is usually mid-February. It means that no time can be wasted in preparation for this big party. We start to prepare our costumes, plan what to do and go to the street parades (bloquinhos) that start to pop up everywhere. The fun is so intense that many cariocas hold pre-carnaval events to be better than carnival itself.
People (outside of Rio) usually joke that Rio’s working year only starts after carnival. Although not absolutely accurate, there is some truth in this joke. During those months cariocas do everything in their power to arrive late and leave early their workstations. Beaches are constantly crowded and bars are packed with people having a very cold beer for refreshment in the warmest months of the year. You can imagine that it is hard to focus at work when you look outside and see not only the sun shining bright, but also the sea in the perfect temperature to refresh your body.
You don’t need to dress up in fancy or put any makeup on. Get your lightest clothes and walk around until you find a place that best suits your mood. If you happen to be around those months, feel welcomed to enjoy with us, cariocas, this special time. Put your Havaianas on, have a mate and biscoito globo or a caipirinha and don´t forget to use sunscreen. Because chances are your white skin is not prepared for the strong, hot carioca sun.