Rio Carnival


When asked to think of Brazil, and particularly the city of Rio de Janeiro, often the first thing that springs to mind is the carnival, an event which has been popular with both national and international visitors since the 1800's.


Rio Carnival

The Rio Carnival (also spelt Carnaval in Portuguese) is Rio 's biggest attraction and is accepted as one of the greatest shows on earth! It is known for its vibrant colours, its music, its party atmosphere and its often scantily clad people!

The Carnival marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time when Roman Catholics are supposed to go without eating meat and refrain from all bodily pleasures, and whilst the people of Rio de Janeiro accepted this requirement, they wanted a way of making the most of these pleasures before Lent began. So the Carnival was established as a way of celebrating, yet saying goodbye to these pleasures. Because of the nature of the carnival celebrations, the Rio Carnival has been known for its semi-nudity but it's most recognised now for its highly lavish costumes and decorated floats.

The Rio Carnival is an annual event, but because it's tied to Lent and Easter the actual date varies each year. The Carnival begins 40 days before Easter, which is 4 days before Ash Wednesday, though often you will find the beginnings of the Carnival taking place before this.


Parades take place all over the city, but the main location is the Sambadrome, which was built specifically for the Carnival in 1984. Unlike stadiums, the Sambadrome is on a stretch of street measuring 700 metres in length with seating on either side and a total capacity of 90,000. For four consecutive nights the 'Samba Schools' parade through the Sambadrome, starting at 8pm and going on into the morning. Each school has an 80 minute slot to make their way through the Sambadrome and are judged, with a winner declared on Ash Wednesday.

Rio Carnival

The Sambadrome is in Downtown Rio de Janeiro and is easily accessible. International flights to Rio de Janeiro land at the city's main international airport, called Galeao International Airport, about 12.5 miles (20km) from the city centre.


Rio Carnival

 

 
 
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