Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is, by far, the most famous Carnival in Brazil. Right
after the parades, Cariocas start to think about and plan next year's
The beginning of Summer marks the un-official start of the Carnival season
in Brazil, most significantly, in Rio. It’s the signal to “esquentar os
tamborins” (warm up the drums). The escolas de samba's (samba clubs)
rehearsals increase and people get into the mood for samba.
in Rio is serious, big business. It employs thousands of people,
directly and indirectly. It generates millions of dollars from the
production of floats and costumes, CDs and DVDs sales, international
broadcasting rights and hotel and restaurant revenues amongst others. It
is one of the best Brazil travel features.
Production and Organization of a Huge Show
began in the 19th century, brought by the Portuguese. Yes, the Carnival
was created by the Europeans but it blossomed in the tropical lands of
Brazil. Carnival in Rio grew so much that a special “temple” was created
especially for this once-a-year event: the Sambodromo.
signal of its growth was that, in 1984, the Special Group parade had to be divided into
a two-day event, due to the great number of samba clubs,
called Escolas de Samba, "Schools of Samba", by Brazilians.
Now that you know what escolas de samba are, we are going to refer to them
as such, instead of samba clubs. And there are a lot of Escolas.
most important shows are those of the "14 Escolas de Samba" of the Special Group.
The escolas in this group are sumptuous and put on a majestic spectacle.
Some of them have as many as 5,000 participants. Seven clubs parade on Sunday and seven on Monday. The parade is a contest
and all Brazilians know how important it is to win.
It means more money to invest in next year’s production and respect and
fame for the winners, at least until next year's Carnival. Because
to the simple people of the poor communities in Rio, the ones who
really make this the greatest party in the world, it is a question of
Carnival in Rio is an opulent spectacle, but it all began with the poor
people enjoying themselves in the streets.
contest takes in consideration several aspects and the judges are tough.
There are many regulations concerning the floats, the costumes, the
timing, the way they
dance and sing their theme song, for individuals with specific dance tasks
and so on.
Like I said before, this is serious business. But relax! It is an
enterprise of joy, dance and magic.
Experiencing an Unique Spectacle
Carnival in Rio is also the favorite of the famous and fabulous alike. It
is an extravaganza everybody should try once. When the
bateria (drums) go by you, you can feel your body pounding to the beat of the drums.
It is a group show and also an individual one.
There are outstanding "sambistas", that are in a class by themselves.
There are the old ones, grandmas and grandpas, that know every single
magic samba step.
There are the folkloric characters, so dear to each of the escolas de
samba and the communities where they come from that, on this day and on
this stage they are famous, even being normal working people. When they
pass by, the audience applauds and cheers in a frenetic way.
And of course, there are the "celebrities" that parade with their favorite
escola de samba.
are planning on coming to Carnival in Rio and see the parades, wear
comfortable summer clothes and shoes. Shorts and T-Shirt are fine. The
parades take place on Sunday and Monday, starting at 9:00PM and ending around
6:30AM of the following day. Don't forget the video
ENJOY Carnival in Rio: the greatest show on Earth!
more information about the parades, seats and tickets, contact