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.
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.
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 is a four day event that changes dates every year. It begins
forty days before the Catholic holiday, Lent.
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.
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.
help you plan your trip to experience the most incredible Carnival
celebration we have listed Carnival dates until 2010.
2004 February 21,22,23,24
2005 February 5,6,7,8
2006 February 26,27,28
2007 February 17,18,19,20
2008 February 2,3,4,5
2009 February 21,22,23,24
2010 February 13,14,15,16