Carnival River

Curiosities about Rio Carnival that you may not know

Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a celebration full of traditions and history, which attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year. In addition to the well-known samba schools, parades and street parties, there are a series of curiosities that may surprise even those who are already familiar with this iconic festival. In this article, we will explore some interesting facts about the Rio Carnival that you may not know.

Curiosities about Rio Carnival that you may not know

1 – The Greatest Show on Earth

Rio Carnival is often called “The Greatest Show on Earth” due to its grandeur and magnificence. No wonder it is one of the most watched events in the world, broadcast to more than 100 countries.

2 – The Samba Schools Parade

The samba school parade at the Sambadrome is the highlight of Rio's Carnival. Surprisingly, preparation for this parade begins months in advance, and each samba school only has 75 minutes to perform.

3 – Sambadrome and Oscar Niemeyer

The Sambadrome, where the samba school parades take place, was designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Its elegant, sinuous structure is one of the city's trademarks.

4 – Carnival costumes

The costumes worn at Rio Carnival are true works of art. Some of them can weigh more than 20 kg and are crafted with meticulous detail.

5 – Queen of Drums

Each samba school has a “Drum Queen” who leads the parade. These women are celebrities in Brazil and are chosen for their beauty, charisma and connection to the school.

6 – Children’s Carnival

Carnival in Rio is not just for adults. There is a special Carnival parade for children, known as “Children’s Carnival”. Children participate dressed in colorful costumes and have fun to the rhythm of samba.

Curiosities about Rio Carnival that you may not know

7 – Street Blocks

Rio Carnival is not just about the samba school parades. The “street blocks” are popular festivals that take place throughout the city during the carnival period. There are hundreds of street blocks, each with its own unique music and theme.

8 – Samba-Enredo

Each samba school chooses a “samba-plot” that tells a story during the parade. These songs are composed specifically for Carnival and are one of the most important elements of the celebration.

9 – Behind the Scenes

While samba school parades are impressive, a lot of the work happens behind the scenes. Thousands of seamstresses, prop makers and artists work tirelessly to create the costumes and props used during Carnival.

10 – Hummingbird and Penta

The Beija-Flor samba school is the current holder of the record for victories at the Rio Carnival, with 14 titles in the Special Group. Beija-Flor is also the samba school that has won the most competitions in the 21st century.

11 – The Illustrious Sambistas

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival has produced some of Brazil's greatest samba singers, including personalities such as Martinho da Vila, Cartola, and Zeca Pagodinho.

12 – Crown Symbol

The crown worn by the drum queens of samba schools is an important symbol and reflects Carnival royalty. They are crowned with a tiara and a dazzling cloak.

13 – Traditional Blocks

Some traditional street blocks, such as “Cordão do Bola Preta,” attract gigantic crowds, sometimes bringing together hundreds of thousands of revelers.

14 – Carnival food

During Carnival, it is common to taste Brazilian delicacies, such as feijoada, coxinha, acarajé and the famous “caipirinha” (a drink made with cachaça, lemon and sugar).

15 – Spirit of Equality

Rio Carnival is a celebration that transcends social and cultural barriers. During the party, everyone is equal, regardless of their origin or status.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a unique celebration full of traditions and surprises. These curiosities reveal the richness and diversity that make Rio Carnival a truly incredible experience. So when you join the millions of revelers on the streets of Rio, remember these details that make this party so special.

Julio Costa