Carnival is synonymous with Rio de Janeiro and is Rio’s main event, starting on a Saturday and ending on Fat Tuesday every year. At carnival time, summer is at its peak and the festivities attract thousands of people from all over the globe
The Samba Parade is filled with swirling colour, pulsating music, thousands of beautiful people in fantastically over-the-top outfits and the world’s sexiest dance – the samba. It is indeed the mother of all parades.
The first event was held during the 1930’s and established a permanent home at the Sambadrome during 1984. Today, the whole world can enjoy the Rio Carnival via live telecasts but first prize is to attend the event and experience the magic first-hand.
If you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend you should bear the following in mind:
- Book your flights and accommodation well in advance.
- Try to get a ticket for sector 13 in the Sambadrome, where you can liberate any costumes left behind by the dancers. The ground level terrace seats (cadeiras), terrace seats (arquibancadas) and the boxes (camarotes) also offer great views of the proceedings.
- Be sensible when it comes to security, keep your belongings in an inconspicuous bag, such as a grocery bag, keep your money tucked into a money belt and wear your backpack on your front.
- Leave your expensive jewellery in the hotel safe and adorn yourself in cheap and cheerful beads and feathers
- Forget sleeping – The fun starts at 9 pm and goes on until 6 am the next day.
- Draw enough money in advance, the banks are closed and the ATMs usually run dry during carnival.
- Most importantly though, you should polish up your samba skills and join in the fun.
Besides the samba parade, there is a lot on the go during the four-day festival. The Banda de Ipanema and other street carnivals take place all over the city and these frivolous and energetic events are the most fun you will ever have for free.