Rio Carnival in Rio de Jenario, Brazil also pronounced’Carnaval’ is the biggest carnival in the world. It is held during the weekleading up to Lent, a Christian observation that starts 40 days before Easter,the Carnival ends on Ash Friday (The beginning of Lent), this is usuallysometime at the end of February. Carnival is a celebration that attractsmillions of visitors from all over the world and is the most popularcelebration in Brazil.
It is a festival filled with music, dance, and drinking.The Carnival begins on the Friday when the Mayor of Rio hands over the key tothe city to King Momo, a mythical figure who is said to lead the festival (Fig1). The Samba, an Afro—Brazilian dance is at the core of the celebration.Throughout Carnival, all the best Samba schools compete in the Samba paradethat is judged by 40 judges that critics based on song, story, dance, rhythm,presentation, musicians and floats. The dancers, performers, singers andmusicians that take part in the parade dress in beautiful extravagant costumes fullof bright colors, feathers, and gems, these costumes correlate with a themethat each school picks to represent themselves. Along with the people in theparade many festival attendees and participants dress up in all sorts ofcostumes and fun outfits.
The floats in the parades (Fig 2) are just asextravagant as the costumes and are works of art and match each individualschool just like the costumes. During Carnival, the whole city shuts down soeveryone can attend the marvelous celebration and watch the parades in awe.Over the many days of the event lively parties (blocos) litter the streets fromdusk till dawn full of drinking, dancing, singing and high spirits. Every nightthere are Carnival Balls that can be found all around Rio that usually start at11pm and go until sunrise. The start of the festival dates back to the 18thcentury, it was introduced by Portuguese immigrants to Brazil, it was mainlycelebrated by working people who would use costumes and tribal masks during thecelebration.
“Lots of feathers were utilized in many of the African costumes,this symbolized rebirth and the rise of the spirits.” (“Carnival History| Brazil Carnival |RioCarnaval.org”, 2018). Throughout the years of Carnival, the main idea haschange but in the 1920s the first establishment of samba schools were createdin Rio de Janeiro, at the time they were formed by locals. “Over the many years of Carnival moreorganized balls, street parades, and Samba developing Carnival in Rio became amelting pot of different cultures and sensations.”(Scott, 2017)