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Enjoy the Carnival in BRAZIL



Carnival is the most popular holiday in Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro is the most well-known and richer festival, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. The climax of the holiday is the Parade at Marquês de Sapucaí, or “Sambodromo”, where different Samba schools fight for the title of Carnival Champion. Samba, live colors, splendid costumes and beautiful women are the main ingredients of this great dispute. The queries appraised during the parade are: drums, music, harmony, evolution, theme, assemblage, allegories and accessories, costumes, front commission, “mestre-sala” and “porta-bandeira” (the couples spinning with the school’s flag around the avenue).

The dates for Carnival vary from year to year depending on Easter Day. Usually the holiday occurs between the end of February and beginning of March. The first day is always a Saturday and the last day is always the next Wednesday at noon.

Carnival has lots of possible origins, which lead us to thousands of years before Christ. The word “carnival” may have its origin in the latin expression “carrum novalis”, used by Romans to open their festivals. Or maybe in the word “carnelevale”, which means “farewell to meat”, in Milanese dialect, a reference to the beginning of Christian Lent.

Different from the carnival that happened in the rest of Europe (and that disappeared nowadays), the carnival that was done in Portugal was a joke; where people would get dirty by throwing everything possible, specially food, at one another. It was that carnival that was brought to Portugal’s colony, Brazil.

In the middle of the 19th century, bowls, bands and clubs emerged to do more than reunions and parties. At the beginning of the 20th century, emerged the parades that were shaping up and getting bigger, originating the Samba schools that exist to this day and make the carnival in Rio.

Carnival in other Brazilian states:

In Salvador, carnival starts in december, with the Conceição da Praia Festival. The greatest attraction is the “trio elétrico”: musicians go through the streets on top of enormous trucks with potent loud-speakers, playing the carnival hits for the people to dance. The “trio elétrico” emerged in 1950.

Another expressive and popular carnival parade takes place in Recife and Olinda, where the people dance listening to “frevo”, a typical carnival rhythm. There’s also the “maracatu”, originated by the African slaves that where inhabitants of Recife centuries ago.

São Paulo
Initially the carnival in São Paulo happened in saloons, and was a fancy party. But then it got influenced by the carnival in Rio and repeated the same style of samba schools in Rio, creating a parade that equals in popularity and luxury to the one in Rio.