Rio de Janeiro Carnival

Rio de Janeiro Carnival

Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is the most exciting, breathtakingly, and mind-blowing show, that welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world for 5 days of rapturous merriment. The celebration starts in February or March and finishes 40 days before Easter. One of the Carnival's meanings is the completion of the hot Brazilian summer. Carnival covers all parts of usual life — non-Carnival-related commerce and industry completely stop to enjoy the fun, parties, and costumes. There's no doubt you won't hide from the celebration in Rio!


The Rio Carnival dates back to the 1650s. In these times locals elaborated celebrations to glorify Greek wine gods. The Romans adored Bacchus, the god of the grape harvest, so the Portuguese borrowed this feast and created the festival ‘Entrudo’ — the prototype of Rio's carnival. The first parade had its place in 1840. It looked different from modern celebrations, mainly because of the music — polka and waltz. Later Africans influenced the Carnival with the Samba music in 1917, which has become the traditional feast's theme.


Samba is the center of the Carnival. It perfectly represents the Afro-European mix that defines Brazilian culture. The best dancing schools perform in front of millions at the Sambodromo — a special stadium for Samba. Every visitor may see by its own eyes that Samba requires a huge amount of preparation. 40 judges are sitting at different points of the stadium to catch every nuance of movements, costumes, music. The energy spreads to every person and the whole Sambodromo dances with the lead dancers. The success of that energy is provided by the high level of competition among the samba schools. In the beginning, schools were just street bands. Then it developed into groups, then clubs and finally became associations. Nowadays samba schools do philanthropy by supporting the poor sectors in their surrounding areas.


To enhance the sensuality of samba, dancers have exotic costumes. You might think that there is no meaning in the dresses, but it is a huge part of the celebration. Samba dancers give special attention to every detail, so the preparation takes months. The visitors are also welcome to bring their own costumes to feel the spirit of Carnival as it happens on the European masquerades. So next time you'll see Rio's Carnival, try to see not only the bright colors and different designs, but also the idea of the creators.

Street parties

Street parties are the people spontaneously united in the dancing groups called "blocos". Then the group starts marching through the streets and gathering more and more people along the way. It's mostly impossible to surf the Rio without meeting the street parties. The most popular parties are organized by Simpatia é Quase. It's safe enough even for kids. A little bit more crazy parties happen in the Blocos and Bandas de Ipanema neighborhood. The unique character of these parties is that participants compose their own songs and choreograph. Street parties have a huge part in the celebration and those are as important as formal balls. Sometimes participation in street parties is taken by politics and businessmen.

Tips to know

Carnival is located in Rio de Janeiro’, Brazil. Don’t forget to buy tickets on the official website. To make the trip more comfortable, rent a car at the GetRentacar service. We offer cars from local owners at better prices. Use promo VALENTINA5 to get a 5% discount. You can also leave an application on the website to get the best deals from car owners. Read our article about why this option is more convenient and profitable to choose a car.

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