National Samba Day is celebrated in Brazil on 2 December; Samba is known all over the world as the musical style which best sums up the Brazilians’ joie de vivre.
Samba first originated in Brazil, thanks to the country’s African descendants, who mixed together the influences of their traditional dances with regional Brazilian rhythms such as the maxixe and xote, among others, creating a new musical style full of swagger and melody. The Samba is intoxicating to watch, thanks to its energetic moves, which are technically difficult to pull off with style, as well as the sheer joy and sense of fun it induces in performers and onlookers alike. Not to mention that it is the official dance of the Brazilian Carnival.
The date of 2 December is the anniversary of the day that Ary Barroso, one of Samba’s most illustrious all-time greats, first set foot in the city of Salvador, Bahia. A local councillor decided to pay tribute to him by writing an official Samba Day into the Northeast’s regional calendar. As the years went by, Samba Day gradually became a nationally celebrated event, and is now an annual fixture in Brazilians’ diaries.
A thoroughly well-deserved one it is too, for what is one of the most truly authentic symbols of Brazilian culture.