The biggest show on Earth, marked by spectacular parades, parties, outdoor performances, is around the corner. Rio de Janeiro Carnival gives millions of travelers an excellent excuse to visit Brazil. If you are one of those, spare a few minutes to read this Rio De Janeiro Brazil travel guide 2019.
The History of Rio Carnival
The first Carnival was organized during the 1640s. The feasts were organized to honor the Greek wine gods. The parties were characterized by drinking sprees and soldiers exchanging their outfits with others to indulge in nocturnal festivities of wildness and revelry. However, the present format of the celebration was introduced as ‘Entrudo’ by the Portuguese in 1840. It was largely influenced by the Roman Catholic Church and the Africans. As per the Greek mythology, Romans too have a similar god named Dionysus or Bacchus linked with the grape-harvest or winemaking.
The scheduling of the festival before the Lent period was done by the Church. The credit of introducing Samba music and dance is attributed to the Africans. Samba is now considered as traditional Brazilian music, and you can experience its rhythm at the Rio Carnival 2019.
The word Carnival is derived from the Portuguese ‘Carne Vale’, which means ‘Farewell to meat’. This is the ultimate celebration after which a period of abstinence (referred to as “Lent”) from alcohol, meat and pleasure begins. This period lasts up to the Easter holiday, the date when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Lent is normally observed for 40 days. The Rio celebration begins just a week before Ash Wednesday and parties begin in December. The Carnival begins on Friday and ends on Ash Wednesday, but the Winners’ Parade happens on the Saturday after the carnival ends.
Rio Carnival 2019: Date
From March 01, 2019 (Friday) to March 09, 2019 (Saturday).
Rio Carnival 2019: What to Expect in the Celebration
The colorful celebration reflects the cultural and religious richness of the area. The influence of African culture and religions on this carnival demonstrates clearly. Vibrant samba parade and dances are the key elements of the celebration that leaves visitors spellbound. Here are the top attractions of the Rio Carnival.
If you are running out of time, and want to capture the key attractions of the carnival at one place, consider exploring Sambadrome, an exhibition divided into many sectors. You need to buy tickets to watch this exhibition. Purchase your tickets online or offline through agents or brokers. Make sure to reach the venue in advance if you want to grab the front seats from where you can have a spectacular view of the parade down.
#2. Drum Queen
Samba schools of Rio de Janeiro leave no stone unturned to make this celebration classic. There is a cut-throat competition amidst dancers to become Queen of Samba. Participants start their preparation as early as two to three years ago. Costumes and dancing of participants attract millions of spectators on to the city’s streets. The queen leads the parade. Visitors try to gain the attention of the queen, and they feel being honored with her little gesture. However, the desire to become the apple of the eyes makes parade participants to undergo grueling training sessions lasting up to several months in the run-up to the parade.
#3. Float with a giant Lemuel Gulliver
In your childhood, you might have read Gulliver’s Travels. The carnival makes him one of the chief attractions and takes you back to school. A giant statue of Gulliver is placed on a slow-moving trailer with many people having fun with his body and dresses. The gigantic sculpture is gradually made to stand upright.
#4. Saint George and the Dragon
A float with the Dragon of Saint George provides a sneak peek into the 11th and 12th centuries. Saint George demonstrates an unprecedented example of taking a conscious decision in the wellbeing of the community. In the narrative set in Cappadocia era, the saint does not hesitate in slaying his tamed dragon because it wanted human sacrifices.
#5. A float with a Camel Caravan
You might have heard bedtime stories of caravan travel. Book your cheap flight to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to see and experience the plots. The decoration of camels and the carriage is worth watching, and you would find many practices and rituals that are deeply rooted in the Brazilian culture.
#6. Street carnival
Transcending the boundaries of Sambadrome, the carnival makes its way on to the streets. Characterized by parades, blocos, bandas, music and dance, Samba dance mainly, the street carnival appears as the biggest carnival attracting locals and guests alike.
Rio de Janeiro Airport
The city is primarily served by Galeão International Airport (IATA: GIG), which is recognized as the second-busiest airport and the 4th busiest cargo terminal in the country. The airport has two terminals that support domestic as well as international flight services. The airport has got ultra-modern parking facility equipped with Automatic Vehicle Identification (IAV) systems from ConectCar and Sem Parar. This is also the peak tourism season in Brazil, so book your flight ticket in advance.