Brazil 1232
Photo by: Celso Diniz

Federative Republic of Brazil

República Federativa do Brasil

CAPITAL : Brasília

FLAG : The national flag consists of a green field upon which is a large yellow diamond twice as wide as it is high. Centered within the diamond is a blue globe showing constellations of the southern skies dominated by the Southern Cross. Encircling the globe is a white banner bearing the words Ordem e Progresso.

ANTHEM : Hino Nacional Brasileiro, beginning "Ouviram do Ipiranga" ("Listen to the cry of Ipiranga").

MONETARY UNIT : On 1 July 1994, the real ( R $), a paper currency of 100 centavos, replaced the cruzeiro real ( CR $) at the rate of R $1: CR $2,750. R $1 = US $0.3333 (or US $1 = R $3.0) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but some local units also are used.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Tiradentes, 21 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 7 September; Our Lady of Aparecida (Patroness of Brazil), 12 October; All Souls' Day, 2 November; Proclamation of the Republic, 15 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable holidays include the pre-Lenten carnival, usually in February, Good Friday, and Corpus Christi.

TIME : At noon GMT, the time in Fernando de Noronha is 10 AM ; Rio de Janeiro, 9 AM ; Manaus, 8 AM ; Rio Branco, 7 AM .


The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, which is spoken by virtually all inhabitants except some isolated Indian groups. Substantial variations in pronunciation and word meaning, however, distinguish it from the language as it is spoken in Portugal. Spanish is also spoken. A large percentage of the educated have learned either French or English. German, Italian, and Japanese are used in immigrant communities.


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