Carnival 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 every year. in 2010 it happens from February 13 through 16.
The origins of Carnival are unclear, but most agree that it started as a pagan celebration in ancient Rome or Greece. Carnival balls were imported to Rio from Italy in the late nineteenth century, and had their golden era in the 1930 through 50's, with legendary balls at the Copacabana Palace and the Municipal Theater.
The Samba Parade began in the 30's -
first timidly at Praça Onze, and later on Av. Presidente Vargas. It
found a permanent home in 1984 at the Sambodrome,
a structure in the downtown
area. Today the Samba Parade is broadcast to dozens of countries,
and all Brazilian states. Many people think of it as the greatest
show on earth.
You gotta have balls if you think this is not enough! Hey, don't get us wrong. We are talking about the fabulous balls that happen at the clubs before, during and after Carnival! Pick out the right parties, and learn the do's and don'ts. Get an idea of the good times waiting for you with our (Funny but) True Carnival Stories
For several years we have been capturing in images Rio de Janeiro's Carnival festivities. Today we have what may be the most complete collection of photos available online. Some of our pictures are displayed in museums around the world, others have featured in international publications. If you need high-res versions, tell us about it!
With over 300 original photos, gives you a pretty good idea of what the Sambodrome looks like once samba schools take over the runway. Do not miss the new and exciting additions and many breath-taking action sequences, courtesy of our exclusive photographer Silviano. Postcard-sized photos are sorted by theme, with oversized posters at the top of each page.