Every night, it seems, we get fireworks here in Sao Paulo. In June, we thought the nightly fireworks were celebrations of Festa Junina, which is similar to the Northern Hemisphere’s Oktoberfests, but is celebrated for two months in June and July here in the Southern Hemisphere.
It turns out that the majority of fireworks are simply futebol fans showing their support and appreciation for their teams. The video above is from the moments after the Corinthians team of Sao Paulo defeated the Boca Junior team from Argentina to take the Copa Libertadores for the year. The fireworks continued steadily until the following morning, and then resumed the following night. Listen carefully and you can hear car horns honking, and you might be able to hear the neighbors above us singing the Corinthians fight song. And in the distance, the fireworks.
And I’m not talking poppers and sparklers. These are full-blown fireworks, lighting the skies for miles, and when there is fog, capping the city in an illuminated shield of light. Amazing!
Last night’s game was much smaller: the Palmeiras team of Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo has three major teams and three smaller teams) tied the Coritiba team (from the south of Brazil) to take the Brazil Cup, which will allow them to compete in the Copa Libertadores next year.
We were sitting at a cafe last night having dinner when the game started (at 10 pm, after the nightly Tele Novelas…Brazil’s not-so-secret evening delight of soap operas). Though we were sitting outside, with a plastic wall-shade drawn between us and those inside, we were still buffeted by the cheers and clapping when Palmeiras scored. These people love their soccer!
The game ended after we’d returned to the condo, so we were able to, once again, enjoy the spectacle in the skies. The chest-pounding light bombs still get the pups barking hysterically, but no one can really hear them above the racket anyway, so we don’t fret.
Funny thing, it doesn’t even have to be a cup final; it can just be a local game and folks will celebrate. So far, there have been games every single week. Scott noticed the smell of gunpowder in our basement garage when he arrived. So much in the air, it lingers.
This weekend, we’ll try to find some fireworks and join in the fun!