Celebrating Carnival in the heart Brazil is on many bucket lists. Every year people from around the globe flock to Rio to observe and partake in what’s known as “the world’s largest party”. Sequins and feathers of every colour and over 500 block parties bring Rio’s Carnival to life. If you are planning on celebrating Carnival in Rio, here’s what you need to know.
Things To Know About Rio’s Carnival:
1. “The World’s Largest Party”
While Carnival is celebrated all around the world in places like Spain, Slovenia, Trinidad, India and more, Rio de Janeiro takes the cake for hosting the biggest. Each year Rio rakes in around 5 million celebrators with an average of 2 million people partying it up on the streets daily.
2. Where to stay
If you want to party with a sea view and ease of access to festivities – opt for Copacabana. The rough waters will take your breath away when you stay up until sunrise, and you can rest assured there is always a party just around the corner. We recommend splurging a little on Emiliano Rio.
Do you know where Carnival comes from? Originally celebrated as a start for lent, its roots lie in a Catholic pre-fasting feast. The name ‘carnival’ comes from the Latin expression ‘carne valle’ which means ‘goodbye to meat’. Brought over by Portuguese settlers, Brazilians eventually got in on the fun as Christianity continued to take root. Years later it has transformed into a celebration of feasts, samba, music and enjoying life.
4. Traditional foods to eat
One of the best things about celebrating Carnival in Rio is the delicious food. Take your pick from Brazilian staples such as slow-cooked pork (feijoada), hearty fish stew (moqueca baiana) or a classic Brazilian barbecue. Either way, come hungry and ready to feast on all the traditional dishes. We recommend Restaurant Estrelas and Casa da Feijoada to start.
5. Blocos For All
Blocos or block parties range with themes catering to old and young, mentally unstable, politicians and more. Never without a sense of humour though – take your pick from “Band of the Shrimp”, “Half a Dozen Crying Cats,”, “Sweaty in the Middle”, “I am Normal, but the Coconut is Crazy” and so much more. It’s such a fun experience in Rio!
6. Don’t Miss The Sambadrome
The most famous part of Rio’s Carnival is when the local samba schools put on their spectacular parades and performances. You’ll find this in the Sambadrome and can get more information on tickets and types of events here.
7. Costumes of Every Colour
The sparkling costumes of every colour are one of the best sights of Brazil’s Carnival. In the Portuguese celebration, they’d dress up and parade through the streets as a ‘last hurrah’ in preparation for fasting and abstaining from vices.
Once Carnival made it to Brazil, it merged with African and native influence making for spectacular colours and sequins galore. Eventually, samba would be introduced. Carnival would become famous globally for their vibrant costumes and rhythmic celebrations.