Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
A severe case of Carnival fever hits Rio in February, and the only remedy is to dance, sing and let the Samba take over. Carnival is a festival celebrated all over the world, but nobody does it quite the same as the Brazilians do. This year, the government announced that there will be 505 ‘blocos’ better known as roving street parties called ‘ blocos’ where revelers can celebrate the Brazilian culture and history.
There are over 70 samba schools in Rio de Janeiro working around the clock to impress the spectators during the Carnival celebration officially held from 5 to 10 February. Brazilians are known for their lively celebrative spirit and keep it going long before and after these official dates. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro feels like a month of laughter, singing and samba, this fever is contagious and probably for the first time ever, you will not mind catching it.
The Sambadrome is most definitely the heart of Carnival. It was specifically build to host Carnival and it beats strong and loud during these 5 days of fest. Additionally, they have an extra Carnival day for the results of the parade on 13 February, called the Champions parade. On this day the top 6 will parade one last time. The school that comes first place will end the night with their spectacular parade.
A couple of days before the parade, the Carnival runway is painted white in preparation of the dazzling spectacle of rhythm and dancing. Rio de Janeiro’s elite samba schools compete on a 13 meter wide and 700 meter long (roughly half mile) stretch showing what they do best. The samba school Beija-flor was the Carnival Champion of last year and is determined to remain the best Samba school in Rio de Janeiro. In the Sambadrome the schools get judged according to 10 criterion such as floats, costumes and harmony.
The schools parading in the Carnival are categorized in 2 groups. The special group exists of 12 Samba schools and the Access group of 14 schools. The special group are the 12 best schools and the Access group are the 14 runner up schools. All are competing to be the best whether it is a school from the Access group conquering a spot in the Special group or a school from the Special group trying to maintain its position in the top 12 or getting all fame by winning first place. The schedule is as following, the Access group will perform the first two days and the Special group will parade the last 2 days. It promises to be a competition like no other.
Whether you are planning to go to the Sambadrome or join the revelers on the streets, here are some general tips about how to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Make sure that you wear closed shoes to protect your feet. In the Sambadrome, people and celebrities in the boxes will dress up. In the grandstands, informal street style rules. Wear comfortable summer clothing that are darker of color to not appear dirty. The overall dress code is casual however it is not unusual to wear a funny costume. Do not bring umbrella´s, but wear raincoats. To enjoy this period of the year as much as possible we recommend you to use public transportation rather than going by car. Many streets will be closed and it will take time to get to your destination, eventually there you may have no place to park.
Every year many tourists decide to check Carnival in Rio de Janeiro off their bucket list, thus you do not want to be too late with your arrangements. Luckily, besides being able to accommodate visitors in a luxury vacation rental our bespoke concierge services is able to get you exclusive tickets to the best events in the city such as Carnival balls, tickets to the Sambadrome and more. We have an exquisite selection of luxury villa, penthouse and apartment to sleep you comfortably after a day of festivities.