Brazilian Carnival is held on the Friday before Ash Wednesday, and this year’s date is February 25. Colourful costumes, samba music and dancing, spectacular parades, and culinary festivals characterise the carnival. It is the ideal time to overindulge before beginning the month of Lent. The Carnival celebrates several cultures, especially Portuguese and African. Many travellers from all over the world are excited to attend the world’s largest carnival. Brazilian Carnival infuses the air with pleasure, excitement, and fun.
History of Brazil Carnival
The first Brazilian Carnival took place in 1641, when Portuguese immigrants flung water at one other to celebrate the accession of Dom Joao IV as King of Portugal. The African culture has had a significant effect on the Brazilian Carnival. During Portuguese dominance, African slaves had an impact on Carnival celebrations. Indeed, all of the traditional costumes exhibited during Carnival are influenced by African slaves.
The Carnival is distinguished by a unique dance and music known as samba. Samba became a vital component of the Carnival as Angolan slaves expressed their love for it. Samba’s popularity peaked in the 1920s, when samba schools were created in Brazil, and the first-ever samba school march took place in 1932. The Sambadrome, where 13 elite samba schools perform, is now the major attraction of the Carnival. It is a huge avenue with a capacity of almost 90,000 persons. Brazilian Carnival is the world’s largest carnival, with spectacular acts.
Timeline of Brazil Carnival
1094: Carnevale begins
Carnevale begins in Venice, then extends throughout Europe and ultimately reaches Brazil.
1600: The Portuguese arrive
The Portuguese arrive and establish in Brazil in the early 1600s.
1723: Entrudo Carnaval
The earliest carnival in Brazil is celebrated by Portuguese immigrants and is known as ‘Entrudo’.
2017: A Float Crashes
During the Rio Carnival, a float falls, injuring a dozen people.
Activities at Carnival of Brazil
1. Take a look at the samba school performances
Watch the samba schools perform, the major and most unique feature of the Brazilian Carnival. The dances are performed in four groups. The front commission, or ‘commisso de frente’, establishes the style and feel of the performance. The ‘abre-alas’, or opening wing, is followed by the ‘mestre-sala’, or master of ceremonies, and the ‘portabandiera’, or flag bearer. The entire performance is awe-inspiring.
2. Have fun at the food festival
Nothing beats filling your face with good food. Brazilian Carnival has a wide range of traditional Brazilian delicacies such as feijoada, which is rice served with slow-cooked pork and beans, ‘moqueca baiana’, which is a fish stew, and ‘caruru’, which is prepared with shrimp and nuts.
3. Throw a street party
You don’t want to see the samba performance? There are, of course, a plethora of additional alternatives. Get your pals together and organise your own unique street party. Carnival is all about riotous partying before the fasting time of Lent begins. Have fun with your party ideas and be creative!
Carnival’s 5 Fun fact
Making fun of the wealthy
Originally, the working class attended the Rio Carnival dressed in garb that insulted the wealthy.
Painting a seascape
Following World War 1, participants in the carnival marched down the beaches and dived into the sea wearing crepe-paper costumes, the dye from which coloured the water for a few hours.
The development of a theme
The outfits used by samba schools all have a common motif.
The cost of the outfits
Because each outfit is handcrafted, costs range from $900 to $10,000.
Because February and March are the warmest months in Rio de Janeiro, many dressed in white during the carnival in the 1930s to avoid the heat.
WHY DO WE ENJOY THE BRAZILIAN CARNIVAL?
It gets us ready for the Lenten season
Brazilian Carnival is the last chance to participate in any form of enjoyable activity because it concludes on Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. During this time, most Catholics and Christians fast for six weeks and refrain from any form of festivity or enjoyment.
It teaches us about culture and history
Brazilian Carnival is a lavish celebration of the rich Brazilian culture and the joy of living. The impact of African traditions may also be recognised throughout the themes of the carnival. This demonstrates Brazil’s history and culture.
It all comes down to social integration
Brazilians and visitors from all over the world congregate in one area to experience the festivities of Brazilian Carnival. A sense of togetherness pervades the mood here.