“It’s better to see something once
than to hear about it a thousand times.”
– Asian proverb
Do you feel the vibes of the party? Bodies are intertwining in hot moves of samba, one step forward and two steps back, air is getting heavy, and your hips move in a crazy rhythm, music is getting louder and you unconsciously follow the ritual of immorality, demonstration of joy and freedom. Yes, this is Rio de Janeiro Carnival!
RIO CARNIVAL FROM THEN TO NOW
Like any other holiday, this carnival didn’t appear from anything, it has its far-reaching history which started hundreds of years ago. The carnival can trace its roots back to an ancient Greek festival held each spring to honor Dionysus, the god of wine. The first Rio festival dates back to 1723. The first samba school, Mangueira, appeared in 1928. Since then, many teams followed the footsteps of Mangueira and formed samba schools to take part in the Carnival.
Since then Rio Carnival is known as a series of exuberant events, raising the roof parades and parties. This celebration is one of the most important events in the Brazilian culture, where everyone wants to experience festivity and merrymaking of this carnival.
The 2020 Rio Carnival is set to take place from 21st to the 26th of February. It officially starts on Friday and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. However, preparations for the Rio Carnival go on for months before the event, and if you’re lucky enough to be at the upcoming Rio Carnival, you can expect spectacular parades put on by the city’s samba schools, along with live Brazilian music and street parties.
CHOCK-A-BLOCK OF PARADES, STREET PARTIES, AND BALLS
The moment you arrive in Rio, you’re completely immersed in the parties and celebration, no matter where you are. But some of the biggest and the best parties are held in the Sambódromo. Every single day you’ll find a parade taking place at the Sambadrome, with various samba schools taking part in the parades. The parades, which are also a competition between all the different schools, begin each night at 9 pm and last until the morning. They bring the special feeling of infinite convivial celebration.
Moreover, during Carnival, bars, and restaurants on every street turn into a party (the street parties are called “blocos”). Whether it is at a bar or a beach, people gather, clad in flamboyant costumes to celebrate, to dance their booty off and party till they drop like a rockstar.
One of the best places to go to listen to street bands during the Rio de Janeiro Carnival is Avenida Rio Branco in Centro, the city’s downtown area. Late afternoon is the finest time to go out as this is when you’ll see processions of street bands making their way along the street playing to thousands of dancing, drinking revelers.
If partying on the street isn’t really your thing, the lavish Carnival balls may be more of your style. Most cost between R$120 and R$170 (between $38 and $54 USD in 2017 values) to attend. Although some of the celebrations are more expensive, such as the well-known annual Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Hotel which regularly attracts a great number of VIPs. Other popular balls include the Red and Black Ball, the Ball of the Beer and the Gay Costume Ball. If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, check out the celebrations held at the Rio Scala nightclub on Avenida Afrânio. For many years, the ball here is an excellent fusion of live Brazilian music and samba.
WHY RIO CARNIVAL?
From the first moment you are at the celebration, you will realize that Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is undoubtedly the planet’s most ostentatious, extravagant, grandiose, mind-blowing spectacle, uniting millions of Brazilians and visitors. The “Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro” is not only the biggest Carnival but also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most captivating artistic events on the globe. Rio de Janeiro Carnival is all over the places; in the squares and streets, clubs, bars, and all other venues taking over the whole city of Rio and culminating in the Rio Samba Parade that impresses everyone without exception.
If you feel like dancing, singing, falling in love head over heels,
If you are ready to forget about all the rules and everything that chains you,
if you want to immerse in the ambiance of samba and joy…
Then, Rio Carnival is a must-go for you!
Get your dose of emotions and escape from routine, let the groove get in and feel the crowd’s ecstasy kick in!