Carnival in Brazil
Carnival is not just about Rio de Janeiro.It is celebrated, in different styles, throughout Brazil. There are large-scale events in Salvador, Recife and Olinda, all of which attract thousands of visitors.
There are many theories about the origins of carnival; a celebration with its roots in Europe that once was pagan and then became Christian.The pagan history dates back to the ancient Greece,where the god of wine,pleasure,fertility and drama,Dionysus was honored with an annual spring festival that consisted of six days of food,drink,music and theatrical events.The ancient Romans continued the traditions in the form of Bacchanalia, a festival named for Bacchus the Roman god of wine and pleasure.The festival were influenced by another Roman festivals celebrated by that time called Saturnalia and Lupercalia.Later the Roman Catholic Church turned the festivals that were already celebrated by the local people into religious holidays, a strategy to win more followers.
There are several theories about the origins of the word Carnival, the most widely accepted is the one that says that the word originates from the Italian carnevale or carnovale, which literally means” to remove the meat”.
The origin of Brazil’s carnival goes back to a Portuguese pre-lent festivity called “entrudo”, an unusual event where participants threw mud, water, food and even urine at each other in a street. Rio’s first masquerade carnival ball (set to polkas and waltzes) was in 1840. Carnival street parades followed a decade later with horse-drawn and military bands. The Brazilian rhythm,samba, wasn’t part of carnival until 1917.Samba was introduced by black Brazilians from Bahia to the favelas of Rio after the slavery abolition in 1888.
Carnival is so far the most famous holiday in Brazil and it has become an event of huge proportions. The country stops completely for almost a week and festivities are intense, day and night.
The typical genres of music of Brazilian carnival are: samba-enredo and marchinha (in Rio de Janeiro and Southeast Region), frevo, maracatu and Axé music (in Pernambuco, Bahia and Northeast Region).
Carnival in Brazil normally starts on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and finishes on Ash Wednesday itself, though in some places the celebrations tend to spill over until the following weekend. Most Brazilian offices and business close for the week of carnival in much the same way as companies in some other parts of the world close between Christmas and the New Year.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
The carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro is the most important carnival celebration in Brazil.It attracts over a million visitors. It takes place in the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí on the Sunday and Monday night of the carnival.It’s organised by the League of Samba Schools and the Rio Tourist Board (RIOTUR), tickets for the parades can normally be reserved through most popular tour operators.
Forthcoming Carnival dates – starting Friday evening through Wednesday lunchtime – are as follows:
- 2012: 17 – 22 February
- 2013: 9 – 13 February
- 2014: 1 – 4 March
- 2012:Unidos da Tijuca
- 2011: Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
- 2010: Unidos da Tijuca
- 2009: Acadêmicos do Salgueiro
- 2008: Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
- 2007: Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
- 2006: Vila Isabel
- 2005: Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
- 2004: Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
- 2003: Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
- 2002: Mangueira
- 2001: Imperatriz Leopoldinense
- 2000: Imperatriz Leopoldinense [/list]
Samba Schools from Rio de Janeiro:
- Grande Rio
- Imperatriz Leopoldinense
- Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel
- Unidos da Tijuca
- Caprichosos de Pilares
- Porto da Pedra
- Império Serrano
- São Clemente
- Vila Isabel
Carnival in São Paulo city (São Paulo state)
The carnival in São Paulo takes place in the Sambadrome of Anhembi on the Friday and Saturday night of the week of Carnival, as opposed to Rio’s Carnival, which is held on Sunday and Monday night.
Various “samba schools” compete in a huge parade.Just like in Rio de Janeiro each school presents a different theme, which they expose through their costumes, dance, music and the “carros alegóricos” ( huge vehicles decorated according to the theme designed specifically for the parade).
The schools are responsible for choosing their own themes, which usually revolve around historical themes or some sort of cultural or political movement.
The most famous (and usually the winners) samba schools are: Nenê de Vila Matilde , Vai-Vai, Camisa Verde e Branco, Unidos do Peruche, Mocidade Alegre and Rosas de Ouro.
Vai-Vai is the oldest school and has been in the First Division champion most times (14 total, including the 2011 championship). It also is the most popular.
Carnival in Salvador (Bahia state)
The Carnival in Salvador, in the state of Bahia, has been rivaling Rio’s Carnival in number of tourists and popularity in recent years. Its popularity, like those of Recife and Olinda, in the State of Pernambuco it is because it’s celebrated on the streets.Salvador’s Carnival, is the biggest of the world, according to the Guinness book of records, lasts for one week.
The Carnival adds a lot to Salvador’s appeal and make this city one of the most popular Brazil travel destinations.Huge carnival floats carry musicians and dancers, in addition to all the instruments and gigantic speakers. These floats are called “trio elétrico” (electric trio).
Famous Brazilian singers from Bahia ride on top of the “trio elétrico” singing and, literally, “electrifying” the people on the ground who follow the floats, singing and dancing. It is pure energy.
A song composed by Caetano Veloso – one of Brazil’s most outstanding songwriters and singers – gives an idea of what Salvador’s Carnival is like. It goes like this: “Atrás do trio elétrico só não vai quem já morreu…” (Only the dead don’t follow the electric trio…).
An Afro-Brazilian Beat called Afoxé
Salvador has strong African influences and this heritage is rich in the artistic expression of this pulsating city. Afoxé is an Afro-Brazilian rhythm in which the performers sing in African dialects and use musical instruments and clothes that reflect the African traditions. There are several groups of Afoxé in Salvador that also parades during the Carnival.
Carnival in Recife and Olinda (Pernambuco state)
Recife and Olinda are carnival hot spots for Brazilians from all over the country. In Recife, there are music stages in the city centre and around the inner city. In Olinda, the party takes place in the colorful streets. At night the streets of Olinda are filled with music and the color of the many blocos (carnival organized groups).
The main musical rhythms are the frevo and the maracatu . Galo da Madrugada is the biggest carnival parade in the world, considering the number of participants, according The Guinness Book of World Records.
Unlike Rio, the festivities in Recife, Olinda do not include group competitions. Instead, groups dance and play instruments side by side.
Brazil Carnival History (http://www.brazilcarnival.com.br/culture/festival-history-r-carnival-history-of-brazil)