Friday, 8 February 2013 1:57 PM
Home to Sugarloaf Mountain, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and two of the most famous beaches in the world – Copacabana and Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro, the party capital of Brazil, is undoubtedly one of the most iconic cities in the world.
A buzzing hub of bronzed revellers and samba spirit all year round, Rio really comes alive this week during the Rio Carnival – the most colourful party on the planet.
The Portuguese first brought the concept of ‘celebration or carnival’ to Rio around 1850. The practice of holding balls and masquerade parties was imported by the city’s bourgeoisie from Paris. However, once on the exotic shores of Rio, the carnival got the distinctive samba flavour that tourists know and love today. The carnival really sums up the Brazilian culture – a lively concoction of vibrant colour, extravagant costumes, dancing and samba beats.
The most famous event of the carnival, which kicks off today, is the Rio Carnival Parade or Samba Parade. The parade begins when the Fat King, King Momo is presented with a giant gold and silver key by the city’s mayor.The carnival is a competition between the samba schools of the city, with each school choosing a different theme year on year. Each school is divided into sections, with each section leading a group of about 100 dancers wearing the same costume. And, let’s not forget the giant floats – awe-inspiring creations representing the chosen theme. The bigger and brighter the better.
Revellers can also dance the night, caipirinha in hand, away on the various street parties; the biggest and most organised being found at Cinelândia Square. There are also several Carnival Balls taking place in locations across the city, including The Magic Ball at Copacabana Palace Hotel – for a glamorous night out – and the Scala Balls at the well-known Rio Scala nightclub in the city centre.
Are you in Rio right now for the Carnival? Comment below!
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