For that reason, Brazil also holds Amerindian influences in its culture, mainly in its food and language (Brazilian Portuguese has hundreds of words of Indian origin, mainly from the Tupi-Guarani).
Afro-Brazilian religions, such as Candomblé and Umbanda, are widespread. Though minoritary, they are characteristic of the country, and their influence goes well beyond their numbers. The same can be said of Spiritism. Many Protestant denominations are present in Brazil; some, as Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, were originated in the country.
Carnaval, as it is known in Brazil, is an annual celebration held forty days before Easter and marking the start of Lent. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for the elaborate parades staged by the city’s major samba schools in the Sambadrome and is one of the world’s major tourist attractions. In other regions such as Bahia and Pernambuco (and throughout Brazil), Carnival takes on a unique regional flavor. Carnival celebrations in Brazil feature locally-originating traditions and music .
During the colonial period, many writers produced chronicles, poems, and plays detailing the events in the colony. A notable early writer was father António Vieira, a Portuguese Jesuit educated in the Jesuit school of Salvador, Brazil, who became one of the most celebrated Baroque writers of the Portuguese language. The period following the Independence of Brazil in 1822 coincided with the Romantic Period of literature, and the first Brazilian national writers like Gonçalves Dias and José de Alencar gave prominence to the native peoples.
Brazil has a long cinematic tradition, reaching back to the birth of the medium in the late 19th century. In the 1950s, Cinema Novo, (literally "New Cinema") sprang up as a movement concerned with showing realism in film, in the vein of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave.
In recent years, films like Central do Brasil (1998 - directed by Walter Salles), Cidade de Deus (2002 - directed by Fernando Meirelles), Tropa de Elite (2007 - directed by José Padilha) and Carandiru (2003 - directed by Hector Babenco) gained Brazilian cinema a new level of international acclaim.
Sports are very popular in Brazil, the most notable being football(soccer). The Brazilian national soccer team is very popular, both in Brazil and internationally. The Brazilian national team has been victorious in the FIFA World Cup tournament a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Brazil has produced many of the world's most famous football stars, most notably Pelé, Ronaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho and Kaká.
In second place comes volleyball. The Brazilian national male team has been victorious in the Olympics tournament two times, in 1992 and 2004, two times FIVB world champion in 2002 and 2006 and seven times world league champion. As well, the female team has already won several of the most important competitions, including world championships and the Olympic games.
Some sports that have become internationally popular, such as capoeira, footvolley and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu were originated in Brazil.
Although, other international sports are becoming more and more popular in that country, such as basketball.
Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics over other major world cities Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, Japan; and Chicago, USA. This will mark the first time that the Olympics will occur in an South American country.