Wonderful Easter bunnies in Canela

This year Easter is the 23th of March and Canela is preparing for the flux of tourists visiting the small town to enjoy the typical decorations of the season. Last year Canela saw 120.000 visitors during the Easter season and this year some 200.000 are expected.
Canela, a small town with roughly 40.000 inhabitants, is situated in the federal state of Rio Grande do Sul in the south of Brazil. Canela is called after the Caneleira, a cinnamon tree not producing cinnamon. The first colonial occupant of the region was Gabriel de Souza, who in 1860 was honoured by the Emperor of Brazil with the title: “Lord of Campo de Canela”.
The people of Canela consist of the families of the farmers and ranchers of the Cima de Serra, German and Italian immigrants and their descendents.
But it is Easter time and that’s why I write about Canela. From the 1st of March two kilometres of the town’s main streets are decorated with life-sized, some till 1,70 m high, Easter rabbits, created by the local artists.
The some 200 rabbits are bicycling, painting Easter eggs and even learn maths in school. Beneath the sympathetic rabbits, the street decoration is complemented with flower arrangements and Easter eggs in many colours. This year the town arranged a novelty introducing other animals on the scene. Dozens of colourful chickens, clothed in traditional outfits of human professions, “help” to sell Easter eggs.
To complete this artful transformation of the street scenery Canela offers a cultural program culminating in the performance of the “Paixão do Cristo” (Passion of Christ), one of the most beautiful religious shows in Rio Grande do Sul.
The 40 minutes interpretation of the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life will be arranged with a cast of 50 actors, performing in a special constructed setting of 17 m in length and 4 floors high.
Easter automatically associates with chocolate. As Canela is famous for its chocolate products visitors of the town can roam the special chocolate market where dozens of local industries are presenting their chocolate delicacies.
But let’s stay in the religious sphere for a while more and let’s make a walk from the Caracol Park to the Ferradura Park. The occupants along this 7 km route made their own special and personal choice of a Roman Catholic saint and constructed a little chapel for the personal choice in front of their house. At this moment there are some 52 chapels along the seven km route all honouring a different saint.
After having consumed all this spiritual baggage and with the town’s strong German heritage the tourist cannot leave town without enjoying a piece of original “Äpfelstrudel”.
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