Size: With an approximate surface area of 3.320,000 square miles, Brazil is the largest country in South America.
Population: Brazil has a population of approximately 172 million people, one of the largest in the world. Melting pot is a good description of the people of Brazil, with influx coming from virtually every corner of the globe.
Language: Portuguese (official). English is spoken in some tourist areas. Spanish are widely spoken in tourist areas.
Location: Brazil lies along the Atlantic Ocean in eastern South America. It shares borders with all countries in South America except for Chile and Ecuador.
Currency: Real (currently $1 US = about 3 reais) divided into 100 cents.
Electricity: 220 volts except in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco where it is 110 volts.
Religion: More than 90 percent of Brazilians are Roman Catholic.
NATIONAL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Carnival: Feb 24-28, 2006
Holy Week: Apr 9-16, 2006
Apr 21: Tiradentes
Commemorates the execution of one of Brazil’s most beloved national heroes, Joaquim Jose Da Silva Xavier, who started the first movement to advocate complete independence from Portugal.
May 1: Labor Day
Corpus Christi: Varies yearly
Sep 7: Independence Day
Commemorates the country’s independence from Portugal.
Oct 12: Nossa Senhora D’Aparecida
Religious celebration in honor of the patron saint of Brazil.
Nov 2: All Souls' Day
Primarily a religious celebration (similar to Memorial Day) the day of the dead is observed with family visits to cemeteries to place flowers on loved ones' graves.