is Rio's main event. It happens at the peak of summer, when
Cariocas are at their best. Festivities attract thousands of
people from all corners of the world. Carnaval, as
spelled in Portuguese,
is a 4-day celebration. It starts on Saturday, and ends on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi-Gras. Carnival Sunday is seven weeks before Easter Sunday. Dates change
The first records of Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro
date back to 1723. Immigrants from the Portuguese islands of
The Samba School Parade at Rio´s Sambodrome is something everybody has to experience at least once in
life. The event is broadcast live to several countries, and to
all Brazilian states. Watching on TV is cool, but not half
as much fun as being there. You have to mingle with the
crowd, sweat, maybe even march with a
Meet the Sambodrome: The
Samba Parade became too big for improvisations. Until the
mid-eighties bleachers were assembled and disassembled every
year on Av. Presidente Vargas. Samba Schools longed for and deserved a
more professional site to perform.
Welcome to Pictorial Tours of Carnival, featuring Rio de Janeiro's Samba Parade at the Sambodrome. This two-day extravaganza is considered by many the greatest show on earth. Lasting a total of 20 hours, with seventy thousand participants, twice as many people in the audience, plus millions of spectators glued to their TV sets in Brazil and around the world, it may well be!
A true Carnival Ball features live music. It's usually 2 bands taking turns, and sometimes there is a guest vocalist. Samba percussion is very loud. Bring earplugs if you have sensitive ears. Some balls are broadcast live on TV, and it's really funny watching reporters trying to squeeze answers out of the almost-gone-deaf dancers
Carnival is time to forget your inhibitions, wear a wild costume, play a character, live out your fantasies. Some people go too far, though, and when they are world celebrities, the inevitable slips and funny stories make the headlines.
They may try to organize it, glamorize it, televise it, even
industrialize it, but Carnival is something that comes deep
from the fun-loving Carioca soul. Carnival in the streets is a
living proof of this love. It's free, spontaneous, and everybody's
welcome to participate!
Banda de Ipanema's debut was in 1965, right after a military coup. Rio de Janeiro's most irreverent street band was founded by Albino Pinheiro, and members of tabloid newspaper Pasquim. Banda de Ipanema became a major highlight of Carnival in Rio, and was declared part of the city's cultural heritage in 2004.