My Information to Celebrating Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Wild Junket Journey Journey Weblog

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Final Up to date on February 22, 2023 by Nellie Huang

Celebrating Carnival in Rio de Janeiro was one in all my coolest journey experiences I’ve ever had! Right here’s an in depth information on the way to be part of the world’s greatest occasion.

Samba music all of the sudden blasts by the audio system and the group goes wild.

On the Sambadrome’s runway, the Carnival king and queen seem of their shimmering diamond-studded costumes, dazzling the viewers with their fast-as-lightning samba strikes. Behind them are troupes of costumed dancers: younger ladies decked out in silver attire, gym-pumped males adorning brown feather headdresses, attractive girls dressed in glitzy rhinestone bikinis — all gyrating to the identical rhythm.

Surrounded by a sea of dancing folks, I discover myself shaking my hips and singing together with the group. Certainly, I haven’t stopped transferring for days – or nights. I’m drained from the partying around-the-clock and dancing to the beats of the Brazilian bandas, however I’m nonetheless not able to cease. For it isn’t on a regular basis that I get to be a part of Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, the world’s greatest carnival.

rio carnival

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2023

The Rio Carnival is the most important occasion of the yr in Brazil, and it’s celebrated in fervor with week-long road events, samba dancing and music. Whereas customs, celebrations and costumes fluctuate by area and metropolis, the Rio Carnival is the most important and flashiest. Greater than 500,000 overseas guests flock to the Rio carnival every year. In 2022, 1.5 million folks took half within the metropolis’s celebrations.

In every single place in Rio de Janeiro, celebrations happen within the type of blocos – road events or smaller native parades that start weeks earlier than Carnaval. These blocos are derived from conventional parades carried out by African tribes within the Portuguese colonial period in an effort to protect their cultural identities within the face of the pressured homogenization of slavery. As we speak, these parades have advanced to grow to be large road events, the place folks costume up in numerous costumes, from clowns to tremendous heroes, merely for the enjoyable of it.

rio de janeiro carnival

The Origins of the Carnival

Carnaval (often known as Carnival in English) celebrations are essentially the most well-known in Brazil, however Carnival is not only distinctive to Brazil. The pageant traces its roots again to Catholic origins: a time of indulgence that historically takes place on Shrove Tuesday (however usually the weekend previous it) earlier than the beginning of Lent, a interval of penance to recollect Christ’s 40-day sojourn within the desert and his crucifixion.

The phrase Carnaval is claimed to be derived from the Latin expression ‘carne vale’, which implies “farewell to meat”, signifying the final days when one might eat meat earlier than the fasting of Lent. The phrase carne may imply flesh, suggesting carne vale as “a farewell to the flesh”, which identifies with the spirit embraced by those that encourage letting go of your former (or on a regular basis) self and embracing the carefree nature of the pageant. That’s the reason folks usually costume up in disguises throughout Carnaval celebrations, which mark an overturning of day by day life.

rio carnival parade

The Greatest Present on Earth

Undoubtedly, the spotlight of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the desfile (samba parade) on the Sambadrome. What initially began as a sequence of samba road parades is now an organized competitors amongst high samba faculties from Brazil. These samba faculties are large social entities, with over 3,000 to five,000 members, together with some well-known celebrities making particular appearances.

With their 20m-high elaborately-decorated floats, troupes of costumed dancers, samba drummers within the hundreds and attractive Carnival queens and transvestites, it’s no surprise the Sambadrome parade is called one of many greatest exhibits on Earth.

rio de janeiro carnival parade

Samba Fiesta

This yr’s samba parade started on twenty eighth February and ended on Fats Tuesday, 4th March, with the winner’s parade happening on eighth March. The most effective days for the parades – when the well-known samba faculties carry out – have been the final two days of Carnival. I managed to get final minute tickets for the third night time, 2nd March, and the present was completely spectacular.

Each night time, the parade begins at 9pm and ends solely round 6am the subsequent morning. Six faculties carry out each night time, with every college taking one hour and twenty minutes to carry out. Every college has its personal theme tune, although the identical tune shall be sung over and over for your complete 1.5 hours.

Spectators are given a booklet with data on every college in addition to lyrics of each theme tune (albeit in Portuguese). By the top of the night time, I might sing alongside to the songs and even now, every week later, the songs are nonetheless caught in my head.

rio carnival parade brazil

See the Rio Carnival

The parade takes place on the Sambadrome, or Sambódromo in Portuguese, which is a purpose-built stadium constructed specifically to host the annual samba parade every year throughout Carnival. The Sambadrome is made up of sectors, which flank half-a-mile lengthy runway the place the samba faculties parade.

Ticket costs fluctuate in accordance with which sector you’d like to take a seat. Sectors 5 and seven are mentioned to be the very best as they’re proper in the midst of the desfile and also you get a transparent view of each the start and the top of the parade. Tickets are offered for seats (cadeira) or free- standing terraces (arquibancos). The seats are closest to the parade however you’re restricted to only one spot; on the terraces, you possibly can dance and jostle for a wide range of views and it’s way more enjoyable to be mingling with the group (you’ll nonetheless get to take a seat on the concrete steps).

You possibly can even be part of within the samba parade is you’re keen to splurge. All you need to do is pay a membership payment (round $500-950), get your costume, memorize the varsity’s tune and observe what the individual in entrance of you is doing. It have to be a lot enjoyable marching within the parade and being within the coronary heart of all of the motion.

carnival parade in rio brazil

Spotlight of the Rio Carnival: Sambadrome

I sadly bought the most cost-effective ticket (round US$40), which was in sector 13, all the best way on the finish of the Sambadrome. That mentioned, I didn’t really feel like I used to be too removed from the motion, actually our sector was so crowded that it was bursting with vitality. I used to be there with a small group of buddies, which made it all of the extra enjoyable, and I additionally befriended a Brazilian couple sitting beside me. They have been loads of enjoyable to talk with, and had a wealth of data on the samba parade, explaining to me what the individuals have been singing about, the sequence of the efficiency and so on.

All in all, I used to be actually blown away by the samba parade and it manner exceeded my expectations. The primary purpose for this journey to Brazil was to expertise Carnaval there, and the Sambadrome parade didn’t disappoint. It was positively essentially the most spectacular present I’ve seen in my life, by way of magnitude, environment and the sheer vitality of individuals. I do know that I shall be again for Carnaval in future – however the subsequent time, I’ll remember to be part of within the parade!

rio carnival parade - carnival in rio de janeiro

 Suggestions for the Rio Carnival:

For these planning to see the Sambadrome parade, listed below are some ideas:

  • In case you’re hoping to get good pictures, it’s clever to spend money on an excellent front-row seat both in sector 5 or 7. A good friend of mine booked his ticket only a few days previous to the Carnaval on rio-carnival.internet and paid US$200+ for a seat in sector 5 and he was simply inches away from the performers. I paid US$40 for a seat in sector 13, which was a lot farther from the runway than the opposite sectors have been.
  • E-book a lodge that’s inside strolling distance from the Sambadrome (maybe in Lapa) as taxis are laborious to seek out across the stadium – many roads are closed and there are not any taxi stands. It’s also possible to take the metro which is opened 24 hours throughout Carnaval.
  • Security isn’t fairly as a lot of a problem as it’s made out to be. There are fairly just a few touts standing on the stadium entrance, however as soon as contained in the Sambadrome, it’s protected. I introduced my massive SLR digital camera and didn’t really feel threatened or something. That mentioned, it’s clever to deliver as little as you possibly can and stroll in teams across the space.
  • Attempt to collect just a few buddies to see the samba parade collectively – it should make a distinction having folks to occasion with!
  • Get dinner earlier than going as meals choices there are restricted and costly, plus it may be extraordinarily troublesome to squeeze by the group to get to the meals stands.

rio de janeiro carnival 2022

Brazil Journey Suggestions

Throughout Carnival, lodging is dearer than traditional and the whole lot will get booked up very quick. Make sure to e book your hostel/lodge just a few months prematurely — is a superb place to start out. It’s also possible to take a look at condo leases at or

Discovering cheap flights to Brazil throughout this time could be very troublesome, because it’s the height of the vacationer season there. Attempt utilizing flight aggregator searches like Skyscanner just a few months prematurely to seek out reasonably priced fares.

In case you’re planning on doing some sightseeing, I might suggest arriving in Rio just a few days earlier than/after Carnaval to have some high quality time to discover the town with out the group. Points of interest are extra crowded than traditional throughout Carnaval and since some streets are closed for the blocos, getting round could be fairly difficult.

To search out out the place and when the blocos (road events) are, obtain the app Blocos do Rio or get the listing of blocos on The largest blocos happen in Av. Rio Branco, close to Cinelandia. From Saturday to Tuesday you possibly can see the best number of road bands there, and it’s the place the merry-making is at its wildest.

When becoming a member of on the street events, it’s clever to deliver as little with you as you possibly can. Preserve money in a protected space and keep away from bringing your digital camera. It could actually get fairly rowdy on the streets particularly if you happen to’re going to be ingesting.

There are additionally Carnival balls in Rio’s fashionable and hip golf equipment. Essentially the most well-known is the formal ‘Russian Imperial’ black tie ball on the Copacabana Palace on Carnival Saturday between 11pm and 4am. These balls could be fairly expensive although.

rio de janeiro carnival parade


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