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Rio Highlight: Rio Carnival & Samba Rhythms


Immerse Yourself in Rio’s Samba Beat

As the largest Carnival celebration in the world, the Rio Carnival is indeed an exhilarating party. In the former Portuguese colony, Carnival started on Saturday and ended on Fat Tuesday. Nowadays the anticipation and preparation for Carnival installs itself months before the celebration. A marvelous display of bronzed bodies, spectacular indigenous costumes and pulsating African beats, the Rio Carnival represents the pinnacle of Brazilian culture and their indigenous identity. A highlight of the Carnival includes street parties guided by drummers and singers that are called bandas or blocos. Each neighborhood in Rio has its favorite banda but many are tailored to whoever wants to dance behind them. Bandas may parade dressed in elaborate costumes or plain clothes. Some may require you to wear the right colors to join and others may simply sell you a T-shirt. Nowadays there are as many as 450 bandas and blocos that come in all shapes and sizes and no matter which one you choose to boogie behind, they all lead to the heart of Carnival. The climax of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival is without a doubt the Samba parade that takes place in Sambodromo, an enormous stadium that accommodates over 80,000 spectators a night. The 14 best Samba Schools are given the opportunity to show what they are made of and impress the judges. Each Samba School dances their heart out and tells their story with a detailed choreography, creative costumes and a unique song. It is possible to buy tickets for the Sambodromo Stadium, but if you’re feeling up to it, one of the best ways to witness this enthralling show is to immerse yourself in it! Some Samba schools are open to passing travelers who are willing to rehearse for a few weeks prior, buy an extravagant costume and wear it in front of tens of thousands of people. Whatever your plan for the Rio Carnival, don’t miss out on this exceptional adventure that will overwhelm you and leave you in awe at exuberant bodies, an electrifying energy and an explosion of color, glitter and culture. If you can’t be there for the Rio Carnival don’t worry because the samba rhythms can be heard and experienced throughout the year. From Carnival Show Rehearsals to local and authentic Samba Shows, no matter when you travel to Rio you’ll be tapping your feet and swinging your hips to samba music in no time at all! See more of our favorite experiences in Rio de Janeiro…

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Samba Dancer at the Rio Carnival / Source

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