The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a festival held every year before Lent and considered the biggest carnival in the world with 2 million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.
Rio Carnival is a wild 5-day celebration, 40 days before Easter. It officially starts on Friday and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday after which one is supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures. Carnival with all its excesses, celebrated as a profane event, could be interpreted an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh. It is usually in February, the hottest month in the Southern Hemisphere, when summer in Rio is at its peak.
There are carnival celebrations on virtually every corner of Brazil, the best-known ones taking place in Recife together with the neighboring Olinda (in the Northeast of Brazil) and Salvador. But the biggest and most famous carnival is undoubtedly Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Almost all the music played during Rio Carnival is samba. It is a uniquely Brazilian music originating from Rio, a dance form that was invented by the poor Afro-Brazilians.
Although Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival capital of the world. The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival, it is also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most interesting artistic events on the globe. Almost everyone has heard of Rio Carnaval. Foreign visitors to it alone number around 500,000 every year.
One of the greatest elements of Rio Carnival is that it not only provides entertainment for many people around the world but it also gives a chance to learn about the true culture of Brazil. Carnival is very important to the Brazilians, it sums up their way of thinking and way of life.
It is a euphoric event where people dance, sing, party and have an overdose of fun. There are many parties that take place before, during and after Carnival all night and all day. It allows someone’s true heart to come out and have as much fun as possible.
Rio Carnival is the result of months of preparation. People eagerly anticipate the start of each year’s Rio Carnival. It begins with the crowning of the Fat King (King Momo), who is presented with a giant silver and gold key by the city’s mayor.