Sorry, Brazil is closed for football reasons

Eduardo Galeano, the legendary Uruguayan writer who died in 2015, spent a large part of his career discussing the relationship between Latin Americans and many elements of daily life. And to Mr. Galeano, in addition to a strong connection with politics, culture, and music, people scattered across the continent were born with a poetic, imperishable bond with football. Around the world, Brazil is perhaps the most famous for its love of football. While perhaps not quite as soccer-mad as clichéd stereotypes suggest, the country genuinely stops to pay attention whenever the World Cup comes around.

Brazil has won international football’s greatest honor five times, more than any other nation in the world — and this is a source of huge pride for the country.

Today, Brazil kick off their World Cup campaign against Serbia in Qatar. And while they’re on the pitch, subway stations, roads, and sidewalks in major cities will be empty. The overwhelming majority of the population will be packed into bars, public squares, or their own living rooms to watch the action. And this on a work day. 

When Brazil plays, work can wait. After all, nothing is that important that it can’t wait for a couple of hours, right? Interestingly, if Brazil wins its group and goes all the way to the final (which bookmakers say is the most likely scenario) all of its matches will be played during working hours.

On Monday, Switzerland are the opponents, and then the final group match against Cameroon takes place on Friday.

So, don’t forget, at 4 pm this afternoon, Brazil has an appointment. And you would be wise to not to try and compete with it!

Go deeper: Read our special free ebook on how to experience the World Cup in Brazil!