Rio Carnival: samba and splendour

Rio Carnival, an emblematic celebration of exuberance and cultural diversity, is one of the most spectacular and eagerly awaited events in the world. Every year, the streets of Rio de Janeiro come alive in a whirlwind of colour, music and dance, reflecting the vibrant and passionate soul of Brazil.



From humble beginnings to world showcase


Born in the 17th century out of European masked ball traditions, Rio Carnival has incorporated various cultural elements, which have shaped its unique form, blending Portuguese, African and indigenous traditions. The festival has grown into a celebration of Brazilian identity, where samba, with its African roots, has added a distinctive rhythm that defines today’s celebrations.


Samba: The Vital Rhythm of Carnival



Samba has become a symbol of Brazilian identity at Carnival. Originating in West Africa and Angola, it was introduced by African slaves and took root in Carioca culture, giving rise to the samba schools and spectacular parades that characterise Carnival today.



The Key Figures and Floats of Carnival

Crédit : Gabriel Monteiro/RioTur

Credit: Gabriel Monteiro/RioTur

At the heart of Rio Carnival are traditional characters such as the Carnival Queen and King Momo, symbols of festivity and joy. The floats, veritable mobile works of art, are the highlight of the parades, illustrating the creativity and ingenuity of the samba schools, which spend almost a year building them in the greatest secrecy to amaze the spectators. These floats, accompanied by the Queen and Momo, add a spectacular dimension to the parade, with each school striving to surpass the others in beauty and originality.


The Sambodrome: the epicentre of the festivities



The Sambodrome, designed by the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, is the heart of Rio Carnival. Each samba school vying for the title of champion puts on dazzling shows. These parades are the high point of Carnival, featuring floats, flamboyant costumes and spellbinding choreography.


A Celebration in the Streets of Rio

Beyond the Sambodrome, Carnival takes to the streets of Rio, where locals and visitors from all over the world share dances and music in an atmosphere of popular celebration. These street celebrations are the heart and soul of Carnival, a testament to the joy and pride of the people who represent their neighbourhoods and keep their traditions alive.



Rio Carnival embodies a magnificent cultural mosaic, combining art, joy and unity in an unforgettable spectacle. The festival is a true ode to the Brazilian spirit, uniting music, dance and creativity. With its colourful parades and upbeat rhythms, it promises to carry on its legacy of celebration across generations. Come and discover Rio Carnival and enjoy the unique and vibrant experience of the world’s biggest carnival.


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