The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the biggest carnival in the world and a famous festival celebrated by millions each year. This wild, 4 day celebration, lasting from February 28th to March 4th, has an electrifying energy that attracts visitors from all over the globe.
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With the first carnival dating back to 1823, the city has had enough time to master the art of celebration. There are about 200 samba schools represented during the parades, all competing to be the top performers. Each school decorates a float, for which they pick a theme, write their own music, make costumes and practices all year long to succeed in the parade.
The 12 most elite samba schools, making up the “Special Group”, compete on Sunday and Monday. The Top League schools are a part of a seperate performance called the “Sambadrome Parade”, during which they compete with fellow rivals (who ever said a little friendly competition was a bad thing?). Everyone comes together in unison to enjoy the street parades and the excitement of the Samadrome, as this is considered the highlight of the Rio Carnival.
As the street festivals are taking place in virtually every corner of Rio, almost all of the music played during the carnival is samba. It is a uniquely Brazilian music originating from Rio and a dance form that was invented by the Afro-Brazilians. The Samba schools entertain the community through samba nights and create a pageant for the Samba Parade.
Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the world, mainly because of the festive balls taking place throughout the city. The attendees dress in animated costumes and even though they are not mandatory, keep in mind that the costume standards are rather high (people dress to impress). The best ball is considered to be “The Magic Ball” at the Copacabana Palace, as live music and samba dancing rules the floor.