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    Easter Around the World

    Easter in South America

    In South America festivals are held with a blend of Inca practices, customs of African cults and native religions all mixed up with Christian beliefs.

    In Rio de Janeiro one of the world's most famous carnivals is held before Lent. Carnival means goodbye to meat. This is due to the fact that people don't eat meat at Lent.

    In Brazil groups of people spend most of the year preparing for the carnival. They make costumes, practice music and dances for the parades. Other people make floats for the parade. It is a time for dancing, eating and drinking before the fasting of Lent.

    In Peru Easter is the most important time of the year. Easter is celebrated every day of the Holy Week. Statues of Jesus are paraded through the streets. People dress in their best clothes. Celebrations are outdoor with dancing, feasting and drinking of Chicha, a beer made from corn. Sweets called Besitos, a mixture of condensed milk and desiccated coconut, are sold on the streets.

    In some parts of South America there are parades held each day of the last week of lent. The parade held on Good Friday is the saddest. The parade winds through the dark streets early in the morning. Drums beat and church bells ring slowly. People in the parade carry large statues of Jesus and his mother, Mary. There are crowds of people watching the procession go by. They sing sad songs. They sometimes carry candles to brighten the darkness. Everyone is sad on this day, but in two days it will be Easter Sunday, a time to be happy again.

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