CARNIVAL IN RIO: The Greatest Show on Earth
The three biggest nights are Sunday, Monday and Saturday(20th)with the the Samba Schools parade , with a cast of 40.000 performers. These performances are considered the greatest open air musical shows in the whole world. Each one of the Samba Schools presents a plot through music, dance, costumes and floats.
Modern Brazilian Carnival originated in Rio de Janeiro in 1640, when the city's bourgeoisie imported the practice of holding balls and masquerade parties from Paris. Later, a rhythm called SAMBA was developed by African descendents and the Samba Schools were created, absorbing elements derived from Native Brazilians and African cultures.
Samba schools are very large groups of performers, who work year round in preparation for the Carnival. Samba Schools perform in the Sambodromo,an open air theatre created only for this purpose. The Sambodromo is located close to the City Center. In the city of Rio, the parades start on 20:00 or 21:00 (depending on the date) and ends around 5:00 in the morning. The Rio de Janeiro subway, operates 24 hours during the main parade days.
Samba Schools take part of an official competition, divided into twelve groups, in which a single school is declared the winner, according to costume, flow, theme, and band music quality and performance.
But the Carnival is comemorated not only in Rio: rhythm, participation, and costumes vary from one region of Brazil to another. São Paulo, has a parade led by Samba Schools, too. Minor groups (called "blocos") allowing public participation can be found in Rio, São Paulo as well as in other cities. The northeastern cities of Salvador, Porto Seguro and Recife have organized groups parading through streets and the people interacts directly with them. Crowds follow the "trio elétricos" floats through the city streets. Also in northeast, Olinda carnival features unique characteristics, part influenced by Venice Carnival mixed with cultural despections of local folklore.
Nota: devido à natureza do tema esta coluna está sendo publicada excepcionalmente em Ingles.