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Carnival in Brazil

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Carnival in Brazil

Carnival's roots go back to the ancient Romans and Greeks who celebrated the rites of Spring. In the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church tried to suppress all pagan ideas, it failed when it came to this celebration. The Church incorporated the rite into its own calendar as a period of thanksgiving. The nations of Europe, especially France, Spain, and Portugal, gave thanks by throwing parties, wearing masks, and dancing in the streets. All three colonizing powers carried the tradition with them to the New World, but in Brazil it landed with a difference. The Portuguese had a taste for abandoned merriment, they brought the entrudo, a prank where merry-makers throw water, flour, face powder, and many other things at each other's faces.

Prior to 1840, the streets of Brazilian towns ran riot during the three-day period leading up to Ash Wednesday with people in masks hurling stink bombs and squirting each other with flour and strong-smelling liquids; even arson was a form of entertainment. In 1840, the Italian wife of a Rio de Janeiro hotel owner changed the carnival celebration forever by sending out invitations, hiring musicians, importing streamers and confetti, and giving a lavish masked ball. In a few years the masked ball became the fashion and the wild pranks played on the streets disappeared.

Carnival Nationwide
Each city in Brazil celebrates its own unique Carnival. In many smaller cities, people gather in social clubs, in the streets, and at parties. Many cities hold parades and other community events. Each Carnival reflects the diverse cultures of Brazil. Therefore, Carnival in the north may be completely different from Carnival in the south. Regardless of where you decide to put your endurance to the test, and see just how much festivity you can possibly sustain, you are guaranteed to have an all around unforgettable experience!

Carnival Dates
Carnival is a four day event that changes dates every year. It begins forty days before the Catholic holiday, Lent.

The celebrations start Friday, prior to Ash Wednesday up until the following Tuesday . Ash Wednesday is a day used for recovering from the previous sleepless nights. However some cities in Brazil will present Carnival activities until the following weekend.

Carnival is the peak holiday season in Brazil. Offices and businesses close during the festivities.Brazilians take time off and travel, so make sure to plan your trip well in advance. Remember, you are competing for a hotel room, not only with tourists from all over the world, but also with brazilians.

To help you plan your trip to experience the most incredible Carnival celebration we have listed Carnival dates until 2010.

2003 March 1,2,3,4
2004 February 21,22,23,24
2005 February 5,6,7,8
2006 February 26,27,28
------March 1
2007 February 17,18,19,20
2008 February 2,3,4,5
2009 February 21,22,23,24
2010 February 13,14,15,16

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