Destinations

Dance Your Vacation Away at Brazil Carnival 2013

December 13, 2012 by

Samba Parade

Samba Parade

Carnaval in Brazil is celebrated all around the country during the 40 days before Easter and the festivities last for a week. If you’re looking for a getaway on the wild side, this celebration has earned monickers like “Greatest Show on Earth” as thousands of visitors flock to take part.

It’s an energetic celebration that let’s you dance your vacation away. Of course, you can still visit the beaches, shop, and all the “normal” pastimes, but the Carnival celebrations offer a unique chance to party.

While Carnival is celebrated in towns and villages around Brazil, the Rio Carnaval is one of the most artistic and  popular carnival destinations drawing more than 500,000 visitors each year. Unlike Mardi Gras, the Brazil Carnival is considered an opportunity for generations to party together.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival, it is considered the yardstick by which all the other carnivals are measured.

It’s an artistic event celebrated with ritual samba music and dance that originated from the poor Afro-Brazilians. It officially starts on Fat Tuesday which marks the beginning of a time of abstinence from bodily pleasures. It’s a celebration of excess at the peak of Brazilian summer.

While the Rio Carnival is the biggest celebration, other popular locations include Recife, Olinda, and Salvador.

Recife Carnival

Recife Carnival

Recife Carnival

The Recife Carnival offers more variation than the Rio Carnival. It, too, celebrates with samba dancing, but also features rock, reggae, and manguebeat music.

Visitors enjoy traditional dancing, parades, and music. The locals encourage tourists to take part making the celebration an interaction of cultures.

Festivities begin in December, and end on Ash Wednesday. If you plan a vacation to the Recife Carnival, it helps to buy a carnival guide so you can get the most from the experience.

Olinda Carnival

Olinda Carnival creates a party atmosphere throughout the historic center. Every street is filled with partiers, and huge trucks equipped with sound systems pipe music into the streets. The samba schools parade is the main attraction and takes place in the Sambódromo, a closed arena.

Salvador Carnival

Salvador Carnival

Salvador Carnival

The Salvador Carnival is by no means a small celebration. Almost two million people participate in the parades, and dozens of bands join in from big trucks. Participants can join in the dancing in the streets for free, or pay a fee to dance inside.

Carnival Dates

While Rio’s Carnival is considered the most spectacular, Recife, Olinda, and Salvador also have unique carnival celebrations. Carnival dates differ every year. Brazil Carnival 2013 official dates are February 8-13, though carnival-related activities start in December.

Photo credits: Chupacabras, Leandro’s World Tour, Prefeitura de Olinda, zapstratosphere



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