The Rio Carnival is the most famous and the main festivals held in Brazil. In fact, this is the biggest carnival in the world. More than 2 million people attend this event each year. The streets in Rio de Janeiro are filled with shows, parades and with tourists. If you plan on being one of those tourists in the near future, here are some things you should know about the Rio Carnival.
Rio de Janeiro actually means “January River”, but it was named by mistake because there is no river there. Replacing Salvador, Rio is the capital of Brazil from 1763. The first festival in Rio was actually held in 1823. However, Romans and Greeks also celebrated the arrival of the spring with various parties on the streets of Rio.
It is considered that the ones who celebrated the festival first were actually Portuguese immigrants. They called it Entrudo. Initially it was a water fight, which was later outlawed by authorities. Starting with the 19th century, Jose Nogueira de Azevedo brought once again the carnival on the streets of Brazil.
The only period of time when the carnival was not held is during World War II. However, celebrations were once again held in Brazil starting with 1947.
The carnival is commonly held 40 days before Easter. It is described as a four day wild party. The Rio Carnival starts on Saturday and it lasts until Tuesday.
Hundreds of entertainers, singers, bands and orchestras attend the festival. The most important event of the carnival remains the Samba Parade, which is the competition between the samba schools in Rio. Each of the samba schools that attend Rio Carnival are judged basing on their costumes, dancing and music. It is claimed that some of them spent more than $3 million on their costumes.
The Rio Carnival is considered to be one of the most important events in Brazilian culture. The preparations for this event start several months before it takes place. The parades are always spectacular, so there is no wonder that they draw so many tourists.