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Rio de Janeiro Tourist Attractions

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Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

 Rio de Janeiro Carnaval 2012: February 18th 21st

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro Carnival Tickets


Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the greatest parties on Earth. And this partying tradition goes a long way back: the first carnivals in Rio were celebrated in 1723. The Rio de Janeiro Carnival, or "Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro" for locals, is held four days before Ash Wednesday, usually in February.

Quite different to the European celebrations due to its mixed African, Native, Portuguese, German and other European countries elements, Carnival in Brazil has also variations by region. In the Southeast (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), Carnival focuses on organised parades. This carnival parades are carried out by "samba schools" (or, in Portuguese again, "escolas do samba") which compete in the "sambodromo". In this kind of Carnival only affiliates can parade. However, on smaller cities, since there are no large public events but the municipalities promote celebrations in clubs or beaches.

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Carnival Tickets Rio de Janeiro 2012

The Carnival Parade

Rio de Janeiro Carnival - The Sambadrome

Since the 30s the parade traditionally goes from Sunday evening until early morning Monday in the Sambadrome, which is a large structure that includes several buildings forming a large open circle and covers 700 metres of Marquês de Sapucaí Street, converted into a permanent parade ground. The "Sambódromo", as it is called in Portuguese has bleachers for spectators on both sides and it can seat ninety thousand people.


View our special Rio Sambadrome section for more details.


If you cannot make to Carnival you can get a slight impression in December, when samba schools start their technical rehearsals at the Sambadrome. Carnival Tickets Canrival Ticket prices for normal bleacher seats in the Sambadrome on Special Group nights can be priced from R$10 to R$500 (US$6.50 to US$312.50), VIP Cabins, or Covered Boxes, seating (including open bar, buffet - dinner, dessert and more) and scalped tickets can be much more expensive (starting at US$2,500.00).


View our Carnival Tickets Rio de Janeiro 2012 section for more details.


Rio Samba Schools Some of the most famous samba schools include Mangueria, Beija-Flor de Nilopolis, Imperio Serrano, Unidos da Tijuca, Academicos do Salgueiro and Mocidade Independente. These are groups of people that include dancers, drummers and floatees. The samba school competition is the heart of carnival in Rio. Each school´s entry includes many parts and usually include from six to eight floats and thousands of participants following a special order: First, the "comissão de frente", the first wing, which includes up to fifteen people who introduce the school and set the general mood. Then comes the school´s first float: the "abre-alas". Other important roles include the "flag-carrier" (porta-bandeira), a very important lady in charge of the samba school flag, and the "Master of Ceemony" (mestre-sala), who is must draw attention to "his queen", the porta-bandeira.


Please click here to learn more about Rio Samba Schools and Carnival Parade.



Watch this documentary about Magueira Samba School:

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