Fast Facts

  • Location: In the city of Rio de Janeiro, on the South Atlantic coast of Brasil.
  • Time to Visit: 2011 Carnival started on Friday, March 4th and ended on Fat Tuesday, March 8th.
    Carnival 2012 starts on Friday, February 17 and goes to Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012.
  • Preferred Timing: Anytime, especially during the evening.
  • Tickets: From $188 to $1498 for the Samba Parada. Separate entry and registration charges for the Magic Ball and the Costume Competition.
  • How to Reach:
    Though the nearest airport is Santos Dumont Airport (SDU), located at the heart of the city center, this airport has flights only from Sí£o Paulo and few other domestic destinations. The more popular airport is Galeí£o – Antí´nio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG), located just 20 km away from the city center.
    Rio de Janeiro is well-connected with the rest of the country by bus. The long-distance bus depot, Rodovií¡ria Novo Rio is located in the Santo Cristo neighborhood.
    There are three main interstate highways that connect the city of Rio de Janeiro. BR-116 goes to the southern region of Brazil, BR-101 goes to the north and northwest, whereas BR-040 goes to the central and western parts of the country.
  • Nearest International Airport: Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) and Galeí£o – Antí´nio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG).
  • Nearest Station: Central Station or Central do Brasil.

When anyone thinks of a carnival, the first thing that comes to his mind is surely the Rio Carnival. If you want to indulge yourself in the wildest things in the world, want to vibe into the rhythm of Samba, and if you want to experience some of the most exotic self-indulgent events in the world, you must go to the Rio Carnival. Though there are several carnivals organized throughout Brazil, the most popular and famous one is surely the Carnivals in Rio de Janeiro, the one which can shake the whole world with its wilderness, rhythm and vibrating colors. A 4-day festival that starts 40 days before Easter on Saturday and continues till Fat Tuesday, just before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday after which, all the bodily pleasures should be avoided. As the carnival starts usually in the month of February, the whole of Rio de Janeiro gets filled up with thousands of visitors from all over the world and perhaps becomes the most happening place in the world as well.

The Carnival Begins
Carnival, Rio de Janeiro is an exhilarating event that is not only meant for wild entertainment but also a medium through which one can learn the true culture of Brazil. Thousands of people sing, dance, party, participate in various events and have loads of fun during the carnival. The carnival begins as the Fat King (King Momo) is presented with a huge silver and gold key by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro. Once the crowning is over, the city, its streets, and squares get blasted with joy and fun.

Inside the Rio Carnival
Carnival, Rio de Janeiro is celebrated everywhere and every part of the city. Considered as one of the greatest shows on the earth, the Rio Carnival has a lot to offer to the people and the most popular attraction of which is surely the Samba Parade, also known as Rio Carnival Parade.

Samba Parade:
They say, Samba Parade, sometimes also known as Samba Schools Parade is something that every human being in the world should experience at least once in their lifetime. The highlight of Rio Carnival, Samba Parade is the event where thousands of people parade through the streets dancing and playing music. Participants go there in unique dresses with paintings all over their bodies. There are also competitions held between the samba schools. Sambodromo, a structure in the downtown area, is the special place where the principal parades were moved to. And it is the joint efforts of painters, musicians, dancers, sculptures and other artists that make the Samba Parade a huge success.

Balls are also an integral and important part of Carnivale, Rio de Janeiro. There are different types of balls that one can find in the carnival which include gala balls, balls for singles and gay balls. Gala balls can be enjoyed at the Copacabana Palace, whereas you can find balls for singles at Copacabana Beach and Scala club. Gay balls can be found at the Gala Gay.

Street Carnival:
There are several street carnivals organized at various locations throughout the city. Anyone and everyone are allowed to participate in the street carnivals where music and dancing are quite common. Bandas and bonds are also quite familiar. Banda de Ipanema is one of the most well-known bands of Rio Carnival.

Rio Carnival Dates
As the Rio Carnival that starts 40 days before Easter on Saturday, the date may vary from year to year. But the carnival is usually organized in the month of February every year. In the year 2012, the Rio Carnival starts on 17th February and gets over on 22nd February.

Rio Carnival 2012 Schedule

The Schedule of Rio Carnival 2012 is given below:

17th February 2012, Friday

Crowning of King Momo : Location: Av Rio Branco
Start:: 2pm
Celebrations Begin
Location: Rio Folio and Terreirao do the Samba (Near Arcos do Lapa and Cathedral Metropolitana)
Start: 8pm
Cinelandia Ball
Location: Praca Floriano (Downtown) Start: 8 pm

18th February 2012, Saturday

Cordao de Bola Preta Street Band
Banda de Ipanema
Location: Praca General Osorio (Ipanema)
Start: 4pm
Costume Competition
Location: Praca Floriano (Downtown)
Start: 7pm
Street Band Competition
Location: Av Rio Branco (Centro)
Start: 8pm
Copacabana Palace Luxury Ball
Location: Copacabana Palace (Copacabana)
Start: 11pm
19th February, Sunday

Sunday marks the beginning of the legendary Samba Parade at the Sambodrome. All will gather here to see the Samba Schools perform, complete with music, costumes, and floats. Join in more Carnival balls, grooving to the many melodies of the music. The streets continue to populated with performances of all kinds.

20th February, Monday
Carnival Monday continues the celebration with the second day of the Samba Parade held at Sambodrome. If you enjoy large parties complete with music, drinks, and dancing, check out one of the balls rocking the local discos and clubs. Performances carry on in Rio Folio and Terreirao does the Samba.

21st February, Tuesday
Tuesday marks the final day of the Samba School Parade at the Sambodrome. Come and listen to the Banda de Ipanema and other local performance while bopping through the streets. If you are still itching to become someone else, join in at the Scala Gay Costume Ball where all are welcome.

Carnival of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most sought-after events in the world where thousands of visitors from all over the world come to enjoy. As a result, you must purchase your ticket for Rio Carnival well in advance. The tickets of Samba Parade have a huge demand. The demands of tickets for the principal nights, Carnival Sunday and Monday can be sky-high.

Tickets are distributed from the box office and from some other places that would be announced by the carnival authority prior to the event. There are several individual agents approved by the carnival authority who can sell carnival tickets. Different agents charge different prices for the tickets. So, you need to be a bit smart in order to get tickets at a lesser price while buying. Tickets can also be purchased online.

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