Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brazilian Carnival: Why Just Watch, When You Can Join the Parade?

By Anna Avalanche, Gisa Miles and Luiz Speedwell

This was our latest article publish at déjà vu Magazine for the April Issue. You can also find this article on the new AAT Deja Vu Magazine Interactive . To know how to get yours click here

Brazil is internationally known for Carnival but there are more different carnival parties depending on the city and cultural influence. In small cities there are salons parties celebrations. Bigger cities like Salvador, Pernambuco, São Paulo and Rio offer different kind of music, dance and more popular participation (joining) in the carnival celebrations. Nevertheless it is almost impossible to remain as a mere spectator – everyone participates, everyone plays along and those who visit, become fans of these wonderful parties. Which is the best carnival parade in Brazil? Well the ones you visit, of course!

In Salvador, Bahia State, the Carnival effectively begins in December, with the opening of the celebrations by the Conceição Beach feast. But it is in February that the merry makers of all ages fill up the capital of Bahia, animated by sound trailers – large and colorfully decorated trucks equipped with powerful loud speakers, from where singers sing and make people dance.

In São Paulo, the Carnival had been formerly a party restricted to saloons. Overtime, it conquered the streets, following the influences of the Rio de Janeiro Samba Schools.

In the state of Pernambuco, we have the Olinda and Recife carnivals. Frevo dance emerged from this location, one of the most enticing rhythms of the nation. For a week, people go out on the streets in costumes and dance frenetically, next to traditional giant dolls and maracatus.

Rio de Janeiro- the joy of the carioca (Rio de Janeiro citizens) is contagious for those who visit Rio to participate in the Carnival – regardless of their origin. It calls on everyone to move their feet, let their arms loose, let their eyes shine and fully participate in this feast, the order is one: fun. Those who have seen it before come back for more. For first timers the impact is unforgettable. The Parade of the Samba Schools in Rio is one of the greatest shows on earth. It is like an opera, in which scenery and fantasy float past the public, the story being told with the song, the symbols, the costumes and the floats, which year by year become more creative. The parade usually starts around 8pm, and goes on through the night, sometimes lasting until dawn, though the rising sun softens the effect and the show is more spectacular at night.

What is the latest trend at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro? Tourists are no longer just watching the parade. Nowadays, tourists don costumes, join a samba school for the night, and fully participate in the festivities.

Yes! You can! Participate in the samba championship, in any school of your choice. You don't even need to know how to dance or anything of the sort. "All you need to do is to go out there and have fun".

Samba sensation form: Times archives

- Brazil’s carnival dates back to the 18th century and is a mix of Portuguese and African traditions. The first parade of samba schools was in 1928
- The top 12 samba schools parade in Rio’s Sambodromo stadium with up to 6,000 drummers, dancers and other participants. Each school has a queen, who leads the drums corps
- A panel of 40 judges grades each samba group in ten categories, from floats to costumes
- 700,000 visitors travelled to Rio de Janeiro for the carnival last year

This article has been sponsored by AA Trade Company, Cleary (128,128,0)

For more pictures and information see:
English blog:
Portuguese blog:


Anonymous said...

Have You heard of any Samba Schools in SL?

Anonymous said...

HI AWESOME BLOG! I was in the parade 2010 this year, hoping to go back soon. Great pictures! xx

Allen Williams said...

Great blog I enjoy you pictures and color layout I hope to go to Brazil soon, Allen Williams