One of my distractions during my unplanned blogging sabbatical was yet another event that has proven me a hypocrite. Yes, it was that time of year. Brazilian birthday party time.
Shortly after moving to Brazil, I was all but forced into throwing for my daughter what I considered an over-the-top party (little did I know, our party was only a shadow of the possibilities). While I cringed the entire process (see Brazilian Birthday party year 1), over the past few years, I have become slightly addicted. Just goes to show you how aspects of the culture that you may initially mock might eventually suck you in.
So, for those of you that too may be looking into holding one of these particular types of parties for your wee ones, but either can’t manage that kind of peripheral vocabulary, or want to do a Brazilian style birthday party with an American twist, I’ve got some São Paulo locals (and fellow expats) to recommend.
First, if you are going to go through all the trouble, you’d better document the event. Fellow American expat and blogger Jana Davis Pearl of Photography by Jana Pearl took the most beautiful photos and capture the fabulous memories in a series of works of art. (She doesn’t just do birthday parties, but also family pictures and corporate photos – FYI).
A key component of the traditional sweet table is the birthday cake. While our cake was made by a local Brazilian, Carla Prado, she is someone I’ve ordered from the years we have been here, and she does speak a little English as well. Plus, her cakes aren’t just pretty, but also very delicious. (Her prices are very reasonable as well.)
While we did casual fare in the form of sandwiches from local paderia Barcelona Doces e Pães, another fellow American expat and blogger Mallory Ferland Ramos helped me add some delicious and adorable American extras to the menu. Check out these sparkly, lavender brownie pops and candy apples with silver and pink accents:
For Brazilian birthdays, lembrancinhas – the parting gift bag, are an absolute requirement. Lucky for me, I have another expat friend who helped me cover this. While I brought back a whole bunch of thematic birthday
junk supplies from the States, handmade hair bows from Katie’s Bowtique were a huge hit with the girls and the most functional favor I’ve seen so far.
Of course, there are all sorts of other mandatory Brazilian birthday party elements that you’ll probably need to procure from the locals – pula pula, brigadeiro, magician who pulls a chinchilla out of a hat…
(I can make recommendations.) But if you want to keep some American flair, aside from importing all your supplies from Party City, it is not impossible with the help of some São Paulo expatriates.