Rio Carnival

During the months of February and March, a wave of party fever sweeps across Rio de Janeiro in preparation for Carnival.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic cities, and when its annual carnival arrives, everyone takes to the streets to celebrate, and all that energy combines to make the world’s largest party.
Rio Carnival truly is out of this world, from the brilliant, colourful costumes and awe-inspiring floats of the Samba Parade to the bustling street gatherings filled with ecstatic party-goers and loud samba musicians.
Rio Carnival’s History
The origins of Rio Carnival may be traced back to the 1930s, when the Brazilian bourgeoisie imported from Europe the tradition of fancy dress celebrations in the Parisian manner. The habit of arranging cordões (“ropes” in Portuguese, translatable as “parades”) started, with people walking in a row dancing and singing through the city’s districts. Each procession, complete with costumed participants and dancers, was associated with a distinct area.
Initiation of Carnival
Officially, the Rio Carnival lasts from Friday night to noon on Ash Wednesday (which can fall between February 4th and March 10th), but residents and tourists start partying as early as January! The festivities begin when the mayor of Rio de Janeiro passes over the keys to the city to King Momo, a mythological character who is claimed to lead the festivities. There is no finer place to celebrate, from the gorgeous costumes to the fervent mood!
The Sambódromo hosts parades
The Sambódromo (or Sambadrome) is an open-air facility that hosts the main Carnival activities. The area resembles a massive, flashy runway surrounded on each side by stadium seating from which people watch the grandiose parades pass by. Huge floats with diverse themes parade down the hallway, accompanied by thousands of spectators on either side who are partying, dancing, and applauding from the stands. The thunderous sounds of steel drums and fast-paced samba rhythms fill the air, which is greeted with a flurry of legs from the smiling, bedazzled samba dancers. The festivity culminates on Shrove Tuesday (also known as Fat Tuesday) however, the parades begin the previous Saturday.
Every day during Carnival, a parade will take place at the Sambadrome, with numerous samba schools taking part in the parades. The performances have a hierarchy, with the top twelve schools marching. The parades, which are also a competition between the several schools, begin each night at 9 p.m. and last until the early hours of the morning. Each samba school gets between 70 and 80 minutes to complete the parade route.
It is critical to understand that there are four sorts of tickets: luxury suite, front-box, grandstands, and assigned seats. The Carnival setting was created to deliver a one-of-a-kind show to all viewers. As a result, each form of ticket has distinct advantages.
Snack time at Carnival
The Sambadrome includes two food courts, one on each side of the arena, each with a different selection of snacks. Between parades, you may take a break and refuel your energy by eating pizza, BBQ, burgers, and so forth. Soda and drink are supplied by hawkers near the bleachers so you don’t miss the performance.
Party streets
Outside of the Sambódromo, Rio draws to a standstill for a week as the city’s streets fill with dozens of daily Carnival festivities. The street celebrations, known as blocos in Portuguese, are led by rolling vans or floats that trail slowly along, with streams of samba music filling the air. Street sellers weave in and out of the sweltering crowds, peddling cool frozen vodka tubes and ice-cold beer cans. Costumes are required, and while certain blocos have specific themes, any costume is acceptable. Popular costumes include a police officer, a cowgirl, a sailor, and a pirate – or just a lot of glitter and brightly coloured clothing. Temperatures can soar over 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) therefore, layers should be left at home.
The Carnival Balls, Rio
These balls, which are a celebration of music, dancing, and colourful Rio Carnival costumes, are another popular feature of Carnival and are held in a variety of places across the city. Some of the most extravagant parties are more expensive, such as the well-known annual Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, which attracts a slew of VIPs. Other well-known balls include the Red and Black Ball, the Beer Ball, and the Gay Costume Ball. If you’re searching for something a little less expensive, go to the Rio Scala nightclub on Avenida Afrânio. The ball here, which has been running for 40 years, is the perfect blend of live Brazilian music and samba.
Best spots to listen to street bands
During the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Avenida Rio Branco in Centro, the city’s central section, is one of the coolest spots to go to listen to street bands. Late afternoon is the greatest time to visit since this is when processions of street musicians make their way down the street, playing to enormous crowds of dancing and drinking revellers. Over 300 street bands performed during the Carnival in 2014.
Carnival Special food and drinks
Brazilian cuisine is both tasty and diverse. During Carnival, street food reigns supreme since everyone is outside partying. Street kiosks serve grilled meats, po de queijo (wonderful balls of cheesy bread), ‘pastels’ (deep-fried pastries), and pies stuffed with meat, cheese, or shrimp.
Take care of your belongings
The guideline is simple: bring as little belongings as possible. All you need is money, documentation, a phone, an emergency contact number, a hostel key, and an address. Keep these items near to your body, not in an easily accessible pocket or open handbag, and you’ll be alright. Go ahead and have a good time! Brazil is a lovely destination to visit.
Interesting Facts:
Every day during Carnival, there are nearly 2 million people on the streets of Rio.
The carnival is included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest event in the world.
Over $4 million is spent on clothes and preparations by Samba schools.
During the carnival, there are roughly 587 street parties throughout Rio.
‘You have to be in Rio to know the Rio carnival’, they say.

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