The Rio Carnival




Welcome to Brazil! The land of rain forests, extraordinary medical facilties and carnivals has something to offer every kind of visitor. With wonderful landscapes complemented by colorful year round festivals and a vibrant atmosphere, Brazil is a hot spot tourist destination if you wish to have loads of fun on your vacation.

If you are planning a trip to Brazil, try visiting it before Easter. Because that’s when you can catch the Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro,  the Carnival Capital of the world. Celebrated for four days, the Rio Carnival is one of the most popular festival in the world and draws more than 500000 tourists every year.

Celebrated 40 days before Easter, the Rio Carnival sets a benchmark for all the other carnivals in the world due to its sheer size and extravagance. The event starts on a Saturday and ends just before Ash Wednesday which commemorates the starting of the Lent period (Goodbye to Meat and Bodily Pleasures).


History of the Carnival: The Rio Carnival dates back to the days of the ancient Roman and Greek civilization where people used to celebrate the carnival as a way to bid farewell to the season of spring. Gradually, the reach of the festival spread to several parts of the country and to the neighboring countries as well.

What started off as a simple celebration grew more extravagant with the inclusion of masquerade parties, balls, street dances and parades. With the government recognizing the event in the early 18th century, the Rio festival also became a reason for black slaves to shed their chains of slavery and be free for three days to take part in the celebrations.

Today, the carnival has grown to such a great extent that it is recognized as a premier event all over the world and has added lots of additional programs to the already existing festivities, one of the most recent additions being the Samba Parade.

Getting There: The festival usually falls in the month of February and the weather can be hot and sultry, so better carry along loads of sun screen lotions, hats and shades. Whether it’s flights or accommodation, it is recommended that you book your trip at least 3 to 4 months in advance to avoid being left out without tickets to the best show on earth.

Flights land at the Rio International Airport called Galeao. Alternatively, you can choose to fly down to the Santos Dumont Airport which is located near the city center. Cabs and private taxis are available aplenty outside the airports and you can avail them to reach Rio. Shuttle buses are also available that take you to the city for a reasonable fare.

If you book in advance, you have the option of choosing transfers wherein a representative (usually a guide) greets you at the airport and takes you to Rio, all the while explaining about the carnival, its history and significance. By the time you reach your hotel, you would have a fair idea of what the Rio Carnival is all about.

Accommodation: Almost all the hotels and lodges get booked months in advance and you may need to search around quite a bit for a decent hotel if you are late. It is advisable to check for hotels located around the area on the internet or by asking through friends so that you may be able to choose a good hotel with a fair number of on site amenities to make your stay pleasant. El Blog de la ginebra y el whisky on the rocks

Participants: Entry to the carnival in addition to participation is free for everyone to join in on the fun. For a celebration that relies on the human spirit rather than on just merry making, the carnival finds most of its participants to be people from favelas.

The favelas are the underdeveloped  neighborhoods of Brazil and are mostly slums and small towns. But the situation the favela residents are in does not dampen their festive spirit or gritty determination as they come out of their shackled houses to parade and party in the streets.

Most of the participants from favelas belong to samba schools and work for months in advance to put up the best performances in terms of costumes and parades. It’s a no holds barred festival with almost everybody from gays and pimps to drag queens and members from the elite class getting together for a good cause with no apprehensions about their stature.

Event Particulars: Though the celebrations last a mere three days, the training and preparations for them go back many months. With the advent of competitions, the urge to be the best has only increased the expectations of the participants and the spectators by several notches.

The festival starts off with a bang when the Fat King, also called King Momo is crowned and presented with a giant key embossed with silver and gold carvings by the Mayor of Rio. With three whole days of parties, celebrations and competitions, the carnival celebrates its spectacular grand finale event which is the Samba Parade (called Sambodromo)on the last two days of the festival.

Participants from over 100 schools and community groups located around the city masquerade on foot or on huge floats in front of millions of spectators for three days. Each presentation has its own theme with flamboyantly decorated floats, richly dressed participants, bands, drummers and speakers; and the music played is generally samba. The most impressive of the groups (14 groups are selected) are asked to parade again on the night of the Sambodromo.

The Sambodromo event falls on the last Sunday and Monday of the event. The groups that were chosen from the earlier events are split into 2 teams and asked to parade again on Sunday and Monday. The processions march along a 700 yard route for 75 minutes in what can only be described as a colorful feast for the eyes.

Leaving the celebrations behind, the people of Rio return back to their normal lives the day after the festival ends. However, the celebrations and the spirit that accompanied these festivities  would stay in their hearts for ages to come. Come to Brazil and drown in the amazing colors of the Rio Carnival.


The Rio Carnival

The Rio Carnival

Welcome to Brazil! The land of rain forests, extraordinary medical facilties and carnivals has something to offer every kind of visitor. With wonderful landsca





The Rio Carnival
The Rio Carnival

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