Carnival in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro Posted by Rachel on Feb 26, 2009 in Customs, Entertainment
Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is the best known worldwide. Though the most famous part is the Sambodrome parade, the blocos (street parades) are also the mainstay of Rio’s Carnival.
Over two nights, twelve samba schools parade down the avenue in the Sambodrome for 82 minutes. Judges analyze a number of aspects about each school, including costumes, song, theme, timing, and dancers. Each school picks a different theme and writes a samba to accompany the theme, along with enormous floats and intricate costumes. This year, Salgueiro took the big prize for best school of the year, while Imperio Serrano, which came in last place, will be moved down to the second division of samba schools. Blocos are very popular during Carnival, when groups of musicians and drummers march through the streets or stand on flat bed trucks singing, as revelers follow them through the streets.
This year, there were plenty of newsworthy stories. Before Carnival began, there was an international samba event, when dancers from all over the world came together to show off their samba skills. There was also a pet parade in Copacabana before the famous parades in the Sambodrome. This year, the samba school Grande Rio did a French theme, and dancers from Paris’ Moulin Rouge came to perform in the parade. The city mayor tried to exert control over the city during the Carnival chaos, while thousands took to the streets to attend the blocos. The Bola Preta bloco attracted the biggest crowd, with about a million people in attendance. The two parades of Special Group samba schools went on in all its glory, despite the economic crisis, with elaborate and creative costumes and floats. President Lula attended the first night, the first Brazilian president in fifteen years to do so.
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