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).
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.
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
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.
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.
in other Brazilian states:
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
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
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.