"Carnaval" Brazil Things to Do Tip by realde14

Brazil Things to Do: 373 reviews and 547 photos

  Carnaval 2006 in Rio
by realde14

Carnaval in Rio is one of the world's biggest and most famous spectacles, and it is definitely worth visiting.

Unlike Salvador, which is more of an interavtice huge streetparty, the carnaval in Rio takes places in the Sambodromo, where dozens of Samba schools 'compete' against eachother.

Like in soccer, there are separate leagues. On Saturday is the desfile of the schools that aspire to ascend to the first league. On Sunday and Monday of the Carnaval, the schools of the first league compete for the title. They are judged on the costumes, coherence, theme, timeliness and on the samba song. Each school has thousands of participants, and for the outsider, there is sometimes little difference on who was better. Sometimes, the results can be very controversial or 'political' but in the end, it is all about having a good time!

Since each school has an hour or 90 minutesm, depending on the category, to complete their turn, you will be easily spending 12 hours at the Sambodromo. The last samba schools come out around 8:00am!

The schools are open for foreigners to participate. Here are some of the names of the different samba schools: Mangueira, Beija Floor, Salgueiro, Vila Isabel (surprise winner of 2006) or Macidade. If you don't want to participate and just watch the spectacle, try and get tickets early, months in advance.

The Carnaval in the Sambodromo has for some people become a hyped-up spectacle. For those that prefer streetparties, their are several excellent blocos and bandas that also attract huge crowds such as Bolo Preto, Banda da Ipanema, or Simpatia.

Even more informal are the spontanous gatherings at the streetcorners, or in front of a botequim, where people come together to dance and play samba

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  • Written Apr 18, 2006
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