Carnival in Rio, Brazil's world-renowned celebration, takes place 40 days before Easter. Crowds gather on the Sambodromo at Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue to view the parade of samba school dancers, which for months meticulously prepare their shows featuring thousands of dancers in extravagant costumes, music, song, and elaborate decoration.
Carnival is Latin for "farewell to meat" and is a celebration of gorging yourself on life's pleasures, before a long fast which used to exclude meat.
Carnival is the time of year that the world comes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A huge celebration of epic proportion, Carnival is the remnants of Saturnalia an ancient pagan holiday that occurred around Christmas. Christian leaders didn't want their followers to be lured away by the promiscuous acts of the Pagans during Saturnalia so they created a "Mass for Christ" or Christmas, which ended this ancient festival of fun for many cultures. Most Latin countries adopted Christmas but moved the festival to forty days before Lent.
The Carnival turns the already vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro into a raucous knees-up. Street dancing, fantastic outfits, a tropical climate and partying until dawn are compulsory. After all, a million people can't be wrong. For each Rio hotel carnival frenzy is a good source of income, since foreign visitors alone number around 300,000 every year.
Although Carnival is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. The Rio Carnival is not only the biggest Carnival, benchmark against which every other carnival is compared, but also one of the most interesting and artistic global events. Pretty much everyone has heard of the Rio Carnival. One of the greatest elements of the Rio Carnival is that it not only provides entertainment for many people around the world but at the same time it gives also a chance to learn about the true culture of Brazil. If you are a foreigner and chance to be in a Rio hotel, carnival spirit will make you plunge into the colorful world of original Latin legends. In every Rio hotel carnival atmosphere sets you spinning in the whirlwind of inborn Brazilian cheerfulness and light-heartedness.
This grand event even had an effect on the city of Las-Vegas known for its ability to blend all landmark world phenomena into its all-absorbing landscape. Recently there has been finished a $9 million renovation of the Rio All-Suite Hotel, where the carnival spirit is also clearly tangible in the air, but the main lure of the place is the hotel carnival world buffet boasting outstanding reputation for its elaborate menu, specializing in gourmet creations from around the World.
The Carnival agenda includes three main events:
1. The Sambadrone - this place is jam packed with 90,000 spectators & thousands of dancers - you'll get a sweat on just watching. Tens of thousands of dancers and a spectacle that will make your jaw drop while your hips sway to the music. The energy and love devoted to this parade has to be seen to be believed. The 363 days of preparation are followed by two days of madness and it's all over. A specially built stadium provides the backdrop to an orgy of color and samba.
2. Street Party - say no more, you can't go to the carnival and not take part - you'll become one of the million smiling faces before you know it. Classic part of the raucous festivities, no trip to the carnival would be complete without a dance through the streets. There are over forty blocks to choose from, but once you're in, don't expect to leave in a hurry. Join the million or so smiling people or take a stroll along Rio's famous beachfront and mingle with the beautiful people as the sea gently laps at your feet. Through the window of a Rio hotel carnival gaiety looks especially impressive.
3. Clubbing Frenzy - for the night owls. To find the real Carnival samba, look no further than Rio's famous clubs, or Alfredo's famous bar where the dancing never stops. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, samba cannot fail to move your body and touch your soul. Expect outrageous dancing and some extremely colorful characters.
Wherever you're from, you'll be welcomed with open arms and huge smiles. The Carnival allows everyone's true heart to come out and have as much fun as possible.