Travel

Kaleidoscopic Rio Carnival

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

The roots of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival date back over 200 years. During the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, revelers let loose to prepare for the 40 days of abstinence ahead. Carnival was introduced in Rio de Janeiro by the Portuguese around 1850.

The carnival parade is filled with people and floats from various samba schools. A samba school can either be an actual school or just a collaboration of local neighbors that want to attend carnival. The highlight of the festival is the main parade called the Sambadrome. The samba schools work to build the best floats and costumes to represent their themes, and to include the best music they can from their band called the bateria.

The entire parade can last 10 hours or more, many people will not be able to last the entire time and may spend 4 or 5 hours at the parade, watching 5 or 6 samba schools go by. Although the Samba Parade is the main attraction, four other parades entertain spectators throughout the carnival. The four additional formal parades are the Champions Parade, Samba Schools Access Group A, Samba Schools Access Group B and Children’s Samba Schools.

If you are travelling on a budget, there are plenty of things going on in the city during the Rio Carnival which won’t break the bank, including free parades, street parties and gigs near our Rio Carnival hotels. The most important of Rio Carnival tips is to book well in advance. Rio Carnival is the most popular party in the world so make sure you book your accommodation and flights early to avoid disappointment.

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