Brazilian carnival comes to Lancaster

A group of very happy people cheering surrounded by colourful Brazilian drums
Lancarnaval organisers (left to right) Louise Gibbons, Louise Gibbons, João Augusto Oliveira, Juliana da Silveira, Camila Silva, Fernando Bandeira, Marcelo Manhago, Naomi Carole

Lancarnaval - a Brazilian style carnival celebration – is being held in Lancaster this weekend, thanks to a group of Brazilians who came to Lancaster University to work or study.

The LANCARNAVAL is being held at Kanteena in Lancaster from 3pm to 2am this Saturday 23 April. The afternoon is full of activities and dance. There is face painting with the artist Sarah Cowan, and a costume making craft table for children. There will be a capoeira demonstration and a workshop by Capoeira North-West. And Northbound Dance are offering an afro-Brazilian dance workshop and performing, with the drums of Batala.

In the night, Paula Santini will kickstart the dancing with her afro-latin Zumba. Throughout the afternoon and evening DJs Naomi Carole, Hannah O’ Gorman, Pablo Blanquito and La Presidenta will be playing forward focused Brazilian carnival and club music with an international twist.

The carnival party has been organised by a group of Brazilians who have moved to Lancaster, mainly to work or study at Lancaster University.

Dr Juliana Da Silveira, who provides research support to the Climate Citizens and BNP Paribas Bioclimate projects in the Lancaster Environment Centre, is one of the organisers of the carnival. She said: “We Brazilians love parties and we miss our country very much, especially the sunlight! The Carnival is the main party of our country, that puts together diversity and many generations.

“The spring in UK brings back the sunlight and the joy to our lives. So we would like to share this feeling with the Lancaster community and bring the Brazilian Carnival atmosphere to Lancaster.”

Dr Camila Silva, another of the organisers, did her PhD at the Environment Centre and two of the other helpers have connections with LEC – Dr João Augusto Oliveira, a former PhD interexchange and Dr Gabriela Meirelles a visiting researcher.

“Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese, with “a”) arrived in Brazil through the festivities that took place in Europe, especially in Italy and France,” explains Juliana, who has lived in Lancaster for 11 years.

“The word has its origin in the Latin “carna vale”, which means ‘farewell to the flesh’ In Brazil, it traditionally takes place during the three days that precedes the Ash Wednesday. Since 1930, the Carnival spread all over the country and has become the most important party in Brazil, lasting four days and four nights!

“They take months preparing for the party, making costumes and decorations, rehearsing the bands, to take the streets and gather people from all generations. The costumes are handmade, with simple material. It can be a famous film character, or just something silly and/or colourful. There is no rule - actually, the only rule is to be creative!

“The music incorporates many traditional rhythms typical from each region, like frevo, maracatu, marchinha, but the samba is definitely the most played one.

“Three years ago, a previous carnival party in Lancaster proved popular, but due to the small capacity of the venue, many people could not join the party. The 2022 event will allow many more people to join in.”

For tickets go to For more information visit Instagram @Lancarnaval or ‘Brazilian Carnaval Special’ at Kanteena on Facebook.

Other organisers include Brazilians Fernando Bandeira and Marcelo Manhago and British national Naomi Carole, who is a DJ and promoter.

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