It’s party time in Rio!
The eagerly anticipated Rio Carnival kicks off in the sultry beachside Brazilian city
this weekend. However, if like many of us, you aren’t one of the lucky few that will
be in Rio to immerse yourself in the scores of wild late-night street parties, or lose
yourself in the infectious rhythms of samba drums and the dazzling sea of feathers
and sequins that make up the main parade, we can at least brighten up your day a
little with a taste of what Carnival is all about.
What is Carnival?
Carnival in Rio, as is the case in many places in the Catholic world, marks one
last splurge before sacrificing something for the next 40 days of Lent. Now Rio’s
population is perhaps not best known for being an overly conservative bunch, so
embarking on anything as rigorous as Lent is not to be taken lightly, and the city has
perfected the art of the final splash out to such an extent that Rio Carnival is the
biggest party on earth.
What's in store?
Starting today, Carnival will run through until Tuesday next week. During those four
days the city comes alive in a riot of noise and colour with hundreds of impromptu
street parties popping up all over the city. There are also organized balls that are
open to the public and the place to be seen for anyone who’s anyone in the Rio set.
Then of course the Pièce de résistance of Carnival; the Samba Parade that marches
into the famous Sambadrome (where all Tucan Travel tours in town head on Sunday
night). This runs on Sunday and Monday. Starting late in the evening to avoid the
worst of the day’s heat, Rio’s hundreds of samba schools will be competing to be
crowned this year’s champions. And in Rio, this is no small accolade. The winners
achieve minor celebrity status and the winning samba tunes dominate the city’s
radio airwaves for weeks to come. For spectators it means being treated to an
absolute spectacle of colour and sound, as each year more and more elaborate floats
are conjured up to win both the crowd’s and judges’ affections.