Now there is a study that sets the record straight (er - accurate). According to this article in today's Chicago Tribune business section citing a recent study comparing workers' holiday time in 41 countries, Brazilians are at the top of the list of workers with the most time off with 56 days off per year while residents of the United States are near the bottom of that list with roughly 25 days off per year.
I knew there was something about working here that I liked (and it was not the salary!) According to the study, in Brazil the government mandates that employers provide 30 days vacation for workers -- and that is not including public holidays (of which there is a steady stream).
The United States is the only country included in the study where federal law does not set a minimum number of vacation days, but a typical full-time worker with five to 10 years on the job receives about three weeks off per year.
So as people here are fond of saying, Brazilians work to live, not live to work. The flip side is the low wages. As a friend of ours once said: "In Brazil employees pretend to work and then their employers pretend to pay them!"
For me -- I'll take the time at the beach.