| FAQ about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

| FAQ about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil KIA Carnival

Computing the carnival period

It’s quite easy to determine the date of the Carnival. You only have to look at the Carnival history to gain a perspective of why. The carnival is observed from Friday until the day preceding Ash Wednesday. So you can understand the term Fat Tuesday.

| FAQ about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ramon Moreira | Bookers International

According to formula decided by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, Easter should fall between March 22 and April 25 as determined by the Paschal full moon. Of course, it’s ridiculous to think that the original aim of the carnival when the Catholic Church adopted it was for devotees to have five days of extravagance and self-indulgence.

The Church might balk at the garish spectacle but economics play a huge part in the modern extravaganza. The original purpose, as can be learned from the Carnival history, was for Christians to celebrate before subjecting themselves to a 40-day of sacrifice until Easter.

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Espírito santo

The Carnival in Vitória are performed one week before Carnival, more precisely in Sambão do Povo. The schools are responsible for choosing their own themes, which usually revolve around historical happenings or some sort of cultural or political movement.

More than the traditional school parade, the carnival in Espirito Santos includes a large set of attractions, especially in the beach areas of the state, from north to south.

Faq about carnival in rio de janeiro, brazil


Minas gerais

Carnival in Minas Gerais is often characterized by blocos carnavalescos with varying themes and costume styles, typically accompanied by a brass and drums band. The carnival has been heavily influenced by the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, and several cities hold parades with samba schools.

More recently, Axé groups from Bahia come to play in the state.
The most traditional carnival parades happen in the historic cities of Ouro Preto, Mariana, São João del Rei, and Diamantina.

Since the 2021s, the carnival in the state capital Belo Horizonte has increased heavily in popularity,
Other cities in the state, such as Juiz de Fora, Abaeté, Pompéu, and Três Pontas, also have popular parades.


Some southern cities such as Uruguaiana, Florianópolis, Manaus, and Porto Alegre have smaller samba school groups or blocos, but like São Paulo state towns, they seem to prefer balls to street dancing.

Curitiba hosts modest carnival celebrations similar to those of other Brazilian cities and events such as Curitiba Rock Festival and a carnival Zombie Walk, all supported by Cultural Foundation of Curitiba which operates under supervision of government of Curitiba.[28][29][30][31]


The northeast state of Pernambuco has unique Carnivals in its present capital Recife and in its colonial capital Olinda. Their main rhythms are the frevo and the maracatu.Galo da Madrugada is the biggest carnival parade in the world, considering the number of participants, according The Guinness Book of World Records.

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It means “dawn’s rooster” and parades, as the name suggests, in the morning only. Frevo is Pernambucan-style dance with African and acrobatic influences, as it is fast and electrifying, often using an open umbrella and frequent legs and arms movements.

Unlike Salvador and Rio, the festivities in Recife, Olinda and Itamaraca do not include group competitions. Instead, groups dance and play instruments side by side. Troças and maracatus, mostly of African influence, begin one week before Carnival and end a week later.


  1. ^“Largest carnival”. Guinness World Records. 1 January 2004. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  2. ^“Carnival”. Online Etymology Dictionary.
  3. ^“Carnaval de Belo Horizonte terá público recorde, menos recurso e mais restrições - 23/01/2021”. Em.com.br.
  4. ^“Topic: Carnival in Brazil”. Statista. Retrieved 4 December 2020. Carnival is, without a doubt, the biggest national festivity in Brazil. For five days each year, the entire country unites in one big street party, where everyone is invited. But Carnival is not only a big part of the country’s culture, it is also an important event for the Brazilian economy.
  5. ^NewsPaper, The Brasilians (6 February 2021). “Carnival, the Most Beloved Tradition of Brazil”. The Brasilians. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  6. ^“Rio’s Carnival - General Info”. www.brazilao.com. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  7. ^“Brazil Holidays and Festivals”. www.iexplore.com. Retrieved 4 December 2020. Undoubtedly, Carnival is the country’s most famous gathering. Throughout many of Brazil’s metropolises, Carnival brings an energy that is unrivaled across the globe.
  8. ^“Carnival in Brazil”. Topics-mag.com. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  9. ^“Folha.com - Cotidiano - Após recorde de público, Rio limita blocos no Carnaval 2021 - 14/03/2021”. Folha.uol.com.br. 14 March 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  10. ^“Carnaval da Madeira poderá ter influenciado festividades no Brasil | Sociedade | Diário Digital”. Diariodigital.sapo.pt. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  11. ^“SIC Notícias - Cultura”. Sicnoticias.sapo.pt. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  12. ^“Río de Janeiro suspende el carnaval por primera vez en 108 años” (in Spanish). La Radio 1029.com.ar. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  13. ^“Confirman carnaval de Río de Janeiro para febrero del 2022” (in Spanish). El Comercio EC. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  14. ^Vianna H, The Mystery of Samba: Popular Music and National Identity in Brazil, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro 1995, trans. Chasteen J, University of North Carolina Press 1999. p.107.
  15. ^“LIESA - Liga Independente das Escolas de Samba do Rio de Janeiro”. Liesa.globo.com. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  16. ^“Mapa de Notas”. Retrieved 20 November 2021.[dead link]
  17. ^“O Portal de Notícias da Paraíba, Nordeste e Brasil”. WSCOM.com.br. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  18. ^“Buy your Costumes for the Brazilian Costume Parade in Rio”. Riocostumes.com. Archived from the original on 28 May 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  19. ^Collins, John F. (2021). Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy. Durham, NC: Duke University press. ISBN 978-0-8223-5320-1.
  20. ^Pasqualin, Vera da Cunha (2021). “The  Street  Carnival  of  São  Paulo  reflecting  the  polarised Brazilian society in 2021”(PDF). Emotions, Populism and Polarised Politics, Media and Culture – via Conference “Emotions, Populism and Polarised Politics, Media and Culture”, University of Helsinki, August 2021.
  21. ^Alface, Felipe (7 February 2021). “The LGBT side of Carnival in Brazil”. The Washington Blade. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  22. ^Alface, Felipe (7 February 2021). “The LGBT side of Carnival in Brazil”. The Washington Blade. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  23. ^Savarese, Mauricio (22 February 2020). “Brazilian transgender dancer shatters Carnival parade taboo”. AP News. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  24. ^“Carnival of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais”. V-brazil.com. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  25. ^“Carnaval de BH bate recorde com três milhões de pessoas nas ruas”.
  26. ^“Liga das escolas de samba cancela desfile competitivo de 2021 em Juiz de Fora”. G1. 10 October 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  27. ^“Liesb auxiliará na reestruturação do Carnaval de Juiz de Fora”. SRZD. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  28. ^“Curitiba’s carnival”. Gazeta do Povo. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  29. ^Greene, Stephen (5 March 2021). “Carnival in Curitiba: Zombie Walk”. The Head of the Heard. Archived from the original on 28 April 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  30. ^“Carnaval de Curitiba abre espaço para o rock e zumbis - Notícia - Fundação Cultural de Curitiba”. Fundacaoculturaldecuritiba.com.br. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  31. ^“Google Tradutor”. Translate.google.com (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  32. ^ ab“Sambódromo Information”. Bolerio.com. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  33. ^“Samba in Rio de Janeiro”. Travel-amazing-southamerica.com. 7 August 1942. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  34. ^Source: UNESCO Office in Brasilia UNESCO Office in Brasilia (7 December 2021). “Brazilian frevo dance is inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. Unesco.org. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  35. ^“Axé Music in Salvador”. Allbrazilianmusic.com. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  36. ^“Tenerife-ABC”.
  37. ^“Fiestas de España. El Carnaval de Tenerife”.
  38. ^“El Carnaval de Tenerife”.

Rio carnival

| FAQ about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Carnival in Rio is a four day festival which takes place every year forty days before Easter (marking the start of Lent). The dates for Carnival vary from year to year depending on Easter Day. Usually Carnival is celebrated at the end of February. (Carnival 2021: Afternoon, March 1 – midday, March 6; 2020: Afternoon, February 21 – midday, February 26; 2021:Afternoon, February 12 – midday, February 17)

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Carnival is undoubtedly the most popular celebration in Brazil and it is celebrated in all of Brazil’s cities. These celebrations attract thousands of people from all over the world. Carnival expresses the culture, history, music, and images of Brazil. Brazilians, spell the festivity a bit differently – “carnAval” in Portugese.

The event and the parade which takes place in Rio de Janeiro is the most famous and richest Carnival in Brazil and, may be, in the whole world. A million tourists join millions of Rio de Janeiro residents (known as “cariocas”) in the world’s most fantastic party spanning several days and nights. From the Friday before Ash Wednesday to the following Thursday, the whole city shuts down for a wild celebration. In a city riven by poverty, Carnival represents a moment of freedom and release, when the aspirations of cariocas can be expressed in music, dances and songs.

The origin of the carnival lies in the ancient African and Portuguese traditions. Most historians believe Carnival was introduced to Brazil in 1723, with the immigration from the island of Madeira, Acores and Cabo Verde. It gradually changed along the years, assimilating local elements, especially from African culture.

The origin of Brazil’s carnival goes back to a Portuguese pre-lent festivity called “Entrudo”. Entrudo was a chaotic three-day street event where people in masks threw water, flour, and mud at each other and that often led to riots.

In 1840, the Italian wife of a Rio de Janeiro hotel owner changed the carnival celebration forever by sending out invitations, hiring musicians, importing streamers and confetti, and giving a lavish masked ball. Carnival street parades followed a decade later with horse drawn floats and military bands.

The carnivals reached a peak around 1930 when the samba schools started to emerge in Rio de Janeiro. The Samba is a unique Brazilian music and a dance form that was begun by the poor Afro-Brazilians. It grew out the Angolan word “samba”, which translates as pelvic movements and the African rite of reproduction. A samba dance that includes a partner is the Samba de Gafieira. The movements in this samba developed out of the polka, tango, waltz, and another samba music called Choro.

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Nowadays Rio’s Carnival is the most impressive and the best-organized carnival in Brazil. The highlight of the Carnival is the Parade at Marques de Sapucai, or “Sambodromo”, where different Samba schools (the collective of people from the same neighborhood, usually a working class community is designated as a “school”) fight for the title of Carnival Champion. Sambodromo is a huge stadium designed by the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer and open only for Carnival.

Samba rhythms, fantastically dancers, splendid costumes, live colors, and beautiful women are the main ingredients of this great competition. Samba Schools may take to the Parade anything from 3,000 to 5,000 members. Each school devotes its performance to one theme – politics, art, music, nature, sport – all the themes should be Brazilian. The school creates its own song, costumes and choreography. The rehearsals began several months before the carnival.

Official judges analyse the performance of each school under several criteria (rythm, costumes, timing, audience response, etc). A grade from 0 to 10 is given and the school with more points is the winner.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a fabulous event where people dance, sing, party, and have a lots of fun. One of the greatest parts of the Carnival is that it also provides entertainment for many people around the world, and it gives others a chance to learn about the culture of Brazil.


The Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo take place in their sambódromos, located close to the city center. In the Rio Sambódromo, the parades start at 20:00 or 21:00 (depending on the date) and end around 5:

Suspensions and resumption of the festival

No carnivals were held in 1915-18, 1940-45, due to the World Wars and in 2021, due to the outbreak to the COVID-19 pandemic, when thousands of people died due to the virus,[12] for which the festival is scheduled to resume on February 26–28 and March 1–2 2022, depending on whether there are no outbreaks due to the variants derived from the COVID-19 and at the same time to normalize the aggressive vaccination campaign undertaken by the Brazilian government throughout the country.[13]

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