Brazil Carnival Guide – Rio Carnival 2012
Brazil and Carnival are a match made in heaven. The indisputable Queen of Brazil’s Carnival is Rio de Janeiro, where samba schools take to the streets in elaborate parades and sparkling costumes. Dance the night away in luxury galas in elegant palaces or brave the vibrant, thumping streets in the Sambadrome. Take to the streets alongside the parades of fireworks, feathers and feisty dancers. The Carnival in Rio is not for the faint of heart, but definitely tops the list of hedonistic celebrations around the world.
Carnival is Rio’s iconic event finishes off the sweltering summer with a bang and all are invited to take part in the fete. The 4-day street party officially starts on Saturday and ends on Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras). It traditionally is seven weeks before Easter Sunday.
Carnival (or Carnaval, in Portuguese) has pagan origins dating back to the ancient Greeks’ celebration of the hedonistic god Dionysus. It was later picked up by the Roman feasts of Bacchus as an over-the-top celebration of revelry and indulgence. The name itself derives from Latin for “Farewell to the Flesh,” marked by the wild feast of food, alcohol, sex and sinful fun before the fast of the Lent season. Carnival eventually arrived on the Brazilian coast in the late 1800s, but the now-famous celebration dates back to the 1930s with the beautiful and feisty parties in Copacabana Palace.
The Carnival Ball at the Copacabana Palace has become the stuff of legend and is the most elegant way to begin Carnival in Rio. The Saturday night fete embodies the old school glamour of Rio’s golden age and the iconic grandeur of Carnival. The lavish ball invites thousands of guests to grace the floor of elaborately decorated ballrooms. You can choose between black tie, masks or full costume to match each year’s theme.
To experience the vivid colours and excess of the complete Carnival costumes in full, a night watching the parades at the Rio Sambodrome is well worth a visit. If you miss the Sambodrome, you can always dance the day and night away at the many blocos, or dance parties, found across the streets of Rio. Each party is characteristic of the neighborhood it takes place in and is a unique (and very fun) experience.
There are plenty of luxury villas in Rio that are available for rent during Carnival. Renting a luxury villa lets you have your own private holiday in the heart of Rio close to all the action. The fully-staffed pool villa is just minutes from Santa Teresa in the heart of a quiet neighborhood so you can enjoy the best of both worlds – easy access to all the fun and excitement but the safe and secure environment of a family-friendly neighborhood.
Thanks to Juliana Coutinho: flickr.com/photos/ngmmemuda/4385399077
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