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The Rio de Janeiro Carnival - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival

The world famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival has a history of over two centuries old. Rooted in both pagan and religious festivals, the carnival is celebrated during the four days previous to the beginning of Lent. The Rio Carnival has always been the main attraction amongst tourists. Although Carnival is celebrated in many parts Brazil, it is Rio that is known as the Carnival capital of the world. The festival starts on Saturday and ends on a Fat Tuesday, with the beginning of Lent on Wednesday.

The Rio Carnival, as we know it today, was born in an attempt to make the festivities more “civilised” in the manner of European carnivals. Masks and rich costumes were introduced by the higher classes who paraded them up and down the city streets in their open carriages. The carnival also resembles parties with drinks, food and music that carry on throughout the day and into the early hours of the morning. People come out on to the streets and dance and sing, and all this finally concludes in what is known as the Samba Parade. People participating in the Samba parade are dressed in bright attires and Samba dancers perform the world famous Latin dance forms.

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