Rio Carnival: The Worlds Biggest Street Party

Posted on Posted in Brazil, Events, Festival, News

At the start of February, Carnivals are celebrated all around Brazil. But the biggest one is in Rio de Janeiro City. With more the 2 Million people on the streets each day, It’s no wonder Brazilians call it “The Greatest Show on Earth“.

The word “Carnival” comes from the latin word “Carne” and “Vale” meaning “Farewell to Meat” for being the last feast before Easter that meat is allowed (“Lent”). The tradition of Carnival started in Brazil in the 18th century, The Roots come from ancient Greece Sprint Festival in honor of their wine god Dionysus and later on also adopted by the Romans. The Church modified it to a religious Festival before Lent. In Brazil the Carnival finally evolved to a celebration of Joy, Music and Dancing.

The Carnival kickoff on Friday with an Openning ceremony were King Momo is crowned by Rio’s Mayor. and given the Golden Key to the city. The Carnival Celebrations last 4 days (from Friday and until Wednesday) while the main event occurs in a central stadium called Sambadorme (tickets required) with a competition between the best Samba Schools (“Escolas De Samba”) in Rio. local samba schools prepare all year for this huge event showing their skills dancing along the streets of Rio with music and colorful costumes.The winning teams will also march in the “Winner’s Parade” on Saturday after the Carnival’s end.

Rio Carnival  Parade in Sambadorme Stadium

Rio Carnival Parade in Sambadorme Stadium. (photo credit:, license: CC BY 4.0)

During Carnival the parties and celebrations continues on the streets all days and nights, with local streets bands (“Bandas”)  playing music and dancing on trucks with loudspeakers in Street Parades (“Blocos”) and everyone is free to join.

If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can try out the Carnivals in Salvador or Olinda. where the parades are Public and Free.

For more activities in Rio check out this FREE Travel eBook: Rio for Partiers

And if you like to learn some useful Portuguese phrases, check out my post on Brazil Portuguese Travel Phrasebook.

Enjoy Life & Tudo Bem :-)
Guy Perl
Social Traveling

Image Credit: Brazil Carnival Design | Free vector by Vector Open Stock

Suggested Travel Plan to Rio de Janeiro (Powered by TripHobo):