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Rio Carnival

Listed under Festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • Photo of Rio Carnival
  • Photo of Rio Carnival
  • Photo of Rio Carnival
  • Photo of Rio Carnival
  • Photo of Rio Carnival
Photo of Rio Carnival
Photo by flickr user ☆Andagi☆
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Carnival is a celebration of fun, music and frivolity held worldwide, but Rio Carnival is the biggest and the best known. More than 500,000 visitors flock to Rio for the Carnival every year adding to around a million local revellers.

Carnival takes place over four days, culminating in the Samba Parade where three to five thousand people from samba schools all over Rio perform with floats, music themes and costumes and onlookers party in the streets. Samba schools spend all year preparing for Carnival and complete over the four days for the right to feature in the Samba Parade where the final winner is announced.

The hedonistic attitude of Carnival comes from its history as a final fling in the lead up to Lent, while the drum music played on may of the floats comes from African influences. Carnival goers can also attend Carnival Balls, street parties and samba school nights.

Learn to samba, douse your costume in sequins and feathers and get ready to dance all night, just make sure you book your flights and accommodation early.

Written by  Amy Winterburn.

Other expert and press reviews

“Party on! John Walsh hits the Rio Carnival”

By John Walsh for The Independent First published March 3 2007 Though it's nearly midnight, it is uncomfortably warm in this wire-mesh holding pen. February is high summer in Rio, and the 38C afternoon has yielded to a 28C boiling night. Mind you, it w… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Independent

“Excerpt from 'Rio Carnival rated best festival for travellers of an independent mind'”

By Amol Rajan for The Independent First published February 2, 2008 The carnival is a cause célèbre for Latin American culture. Held 40 days before the start of Lent, it symbolises the final indulgence of sensual pleasures before a prolonged period of a… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Independent

“Super troupers”

By Oliver Balch for The Guardian. First published 24th January 2008. ...The spell of so much music and movement was equally infectious for the spectators. Everyone was up on their feet, boogying and jiving, and the benched terracing on either side of t… Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Guardian, 24th January 2008.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

" AT THE SAMBODROMO" - Carnival takes place over four days, culminating in the Samba Parade where three to five thousand people from samba schools all over Rio perform with floats, music themes and costumes and onlookers party. Samba schools spend all year preparing for Carnival and complete over the four days for the right to feature in the Samba Parade where the final winner is announced.

Learn to samba, douse your costume in sequins and feathers and get ready to dance all night, just make sure you book your flights and accommodation early.

Just don´t forget that to take part on a samba school you also have to pay and get your costume in advance AND THAN GET READY TO DANCE ALL NIGHT!

We have a lot to do, we have to become a better, fair country, we have to punish our corrupt politicians, we have to combat our urban violence, but YES, we have the most happy and beautiful people on Earth. If you have never been to Brazil before, please do not comment based on what you hear or read about our country. Go there, have fun, and then come back to you ordinary life!

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