The Carnival in Rio has a long rich history dating back to the early 1700’s. It is a four day long celebration before lent when one is supposed to give up pleasures, such as resisting the temptation to consume meat. The Carnival in Rio officially starts on the Saturday before lent and ends on the Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, before Ash Wednesday. While carnivals are held all over Brazil, the largest and most famous celebration is the Carnival in Rio.
The magnificent floats and beautiful costumes seen each year in the Carnival in Rio are created by different Samba schools. There are approximately 200 Samba Schools participating in the festival each year. Most Samba Schools are formed from a cross section or district in Rio, while other Samba Schools are formed by groups of people or businesses wanting to work together. Each Samba School competes against each other in their assigned league. Competition includes float design, costumes and unique music. Preparation and practice for the Carnival in Rio can last the entire year.
In 2011, almost 5 million people participated in the Carnival in Rio festival. Almost 500,000 were from other countries. Once the carnival begins, it spans through out the city, reaching every corner or Rio.
Quick Facts & Figures
Started: Early 1700’s
Samba Schools: Over 200