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Saturday, March 5, 2011


 Brazil's official carnival is held this year during March 4- 8,  2011

The Carnival  is an annual festival held 46 days before Easter. A farewell to bad things in a season of religious discipline to practice repentance and prepare for Christ's death and resurrection.Rhythm, participation, and costumes vary from one region of Brazil to another

Carnival is the most famous holiday in Brazil and has become an event of huge proportions. The country stops completely for almost a week and festivities are intense, day and night, mainly in coastal cities
Carnival time in Rio is a very interesting, but is also the most expensive time to visit Rio. Hotel rooms and other lodgings can be up to 4 times more expensive than the regular rates
Blocos (blockswere pageant groups that paraded through city avenues performing on instruments and dancing who dress in costumes or special t-shirts with themes and/or logos.Blocos are generally associated with particular neighborhoods; they include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revellers.
Block parades number more than 100 and the groups increase each year. Blocos can be formed by small or large groups of revelers with a distinct title with an often funny pun.Some blocos never leave one street and have a particular place, such as a bar, to attract viewers. Block parades start in January, and may last until the Sunday after Carnival

In  Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, huge organized parades are led by samba schools. 
Samba schools are very large groups of performers, financed by respected organizations
 Samba Schools are community "clubs" working together in the interest of Samba and the competitiveness of Carnival. Each one of the Samba School represents a different community or neighborhood from different areas                   

Samba Schools perform in the Sambadrome which runs 4 entire nights.Some samba schools also hold street parties in their neighborhoods, through which they parade along with their followers,Each year each school chooses a different theme for the Samba Parade.
Each samba school has its own distinctive colors (of its flag) and costume style.
The samba school itself is a way of life as its members spend all year preparing for the Rio de Janeiro Carnival.  Any Samba School will band together to decide on a Carnival theme and then select a theme song.  A new Samba dance is choreographed and glittering costumes are assembled Nearly 100 samba schools fiercely compete to win a spot in the Rio Sambadrome Parade
The main attraction of the Carnival is the  Samba Parade which  is a Samba dance competition among the most prestigious Samba schools

The  Sambodrome is the "stadium" of samba. It consists of the Parading Avenue (the samba run-way) and several independent concrete structures for the spectators (the so called sectors) along both sides of the Parading Avenue
Sambadrome in Rio hosts a parade with over 30,000 people showing off on a half a mile runway, to the delight of 90,000 spectators
There are 5 different parades in the Sambodrome
1. Samba Schools in the Special Group

2. Champions Parade  

3. Samba Schools in the Access Group (Group A) 

4. Samba Schools in Group "B"

5. Children's Samba Schools    

Dancers performing during the parade of Unidos do Peruche samba school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, March 4 2011

2011 Rio Carnival will be celebrated in practically every street and corner of Rio de Janeiro. The city is alive and never sleeps for practically the whole extent of the 4-day celebration during March 4 - 8 2011
                                           Street carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro

Model Gisele Bundchen performs atop a float of the Vila Isabel samba school during the first night of Carnival parades at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on March 7, 2011

 A dancer performs during the parade of the Vai Vai samba school in Sao Paulo

A dancer performs during the parade of Tom Maior samba school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2011.

 Samba dancers wearing little other than glitter and paint parade through Rio de Janeiro during Brazil famous carnival

Carnival King(King Momo) is the name of the god of mockery in the Greek mythology, and according to Carnival tradition, King Momo should be jolly and as big as a house.The Rio Carnival officially opens with the delivery of the key of the city to King Momo.He opens all major Carnival events including the Samba Parades.
This year's King Momo, the crowned and costumed Milton Rodrigues (center), flanked by the Carnival queen and two princesses, pose for pictures during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, March 4, 2011


Queen and Princesses of Carnival

 How is the Samba Parade judged
The schools are judged in 10 categories. There are 4 judges of every category (altogether 40 of them). Every judge gives his scores on a scale of 5-10 (with fractions), 10 being the best. They are counted and announced on Ash Wednesday, just after Carnival. 
The 10 categories in which the samba schools are judged are:-

  • Percussion Band
  • Samba Song
  • Harmony
  • Flow and Spirit
  • Theme of the Year
  • Overall Impression
  • Floats and Props
  • Costumes
  • Vanguard Group
  • The Flag Bearer

Brazil's annual carnival celebration officially started  on 05.03.2011Friday and is expected to draw about 756,000 visitors, both foreign and Brazilian, who will pack hotels to nearly 100 percent capacity and spend about $559 million, according to Rio state's tourism department.

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