Rio de Janeiro Carnival
• The Brazilian Carnival, properly spelled
Carnaval, is an annual festival in Brazil held
four days before Ash Wednesday, the day of
fasting and repentance that marks the
beginning of Lent.
• Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is now considered
one of the greatest shows on Earth.
• Rio de Janeiro is known as the cultural capital
of Brazil and was the administrative capital
from 1822 to 1960, when Federal Government
moved to the new capital, Brasilia.
• The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.
• The famous carnival parade has been going
on since the 1930s.
• The parade starts Sunday evening and
continues into early morning Monday of the
• In 1984 the parade finally found its
permanent home, the Sambadrome
["sambódromo" in Portuguese].
• The Sambadrome is a large structure that
was built in the downtown area.
• In the off season, the buildings of the
Sambadrome are used as classrooms for the
local public schools.
• The carnival parade is filled with people and
floats from various samba schools.
• A samba school can either be an actual
school or just a collaboration of local
neighbors that want to attend carnival.
Samba schools include:
• Imperio Serrano
• Academicos do Salgueiro
• Unidos da Tijuca
• Beija-Flor de Nilopolis
• Each school begins with the "comissão de
frente", which is the first wing.
• The "comissão de frente" is made up of ten to
fifteen people only.
• People have choreographic dances in fancy
costumes that usually tell a short story.
• Following the "comissão de frente" is the first
float of the samba school, called "abre-alas".
• The porta-bandeira is a very important lady
who is in charge of the samba school flag.
• Floatees, who are also important, are the
people who populate the floats.
• Balls of every kind can be found in Rio
including gala balls, balls for singles, and gay
• The gala balls are the only luxury balls that are
still around that can be enjoyed at the
• The gala balls are a luxury event which
requires black tie or fancy costumes.
• Balls for singles are found at Copacabana
Beach and a club called Scala.
• Gay balls are found at the Gala Gay at Scala
and are open to everyone, especially for gays
with alternative lifestyles.
• Street festivals are very common during
carnival and are highly populated by the
• One of the most well known bandas of Rio
is Banda de Ipanema (is one of the gayest
events of Carnival in Rio).
• Banda de Ipanema was first created in
1965 and is known as Rio’s most irreverent
• The most famous dance is the samba.
• Other dances include the lundu, the polka,
and the maxixe.
• Music is another major aspect of all parts of
Instruments of Carnival
• Before the samba gained the percussive
style, it was played with flutes and string
• There are several types of drums within the
ensemble including the surdos, caixas,
repiniques, and tamborim.
• Samba parades: