If you study in Brazil over the spring semester, you will have the opportunity to experience the Carnival of Brazil. The Brazilian Carnival is an annual festival that takes place from the Friday to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is the most famous holiday in Brazil, and has become an event of huge proportions. The country more or less stops completely for about a week while the festivals continue, day and night.
Carnival celebrations differ from one region of Brazil to another. The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is considered to be the biggest carnival in the world, with two million people per day in the streets. The city hosts a huge organized parade led by samba schools. A samba school is a large group of performers, financed by respected organizations (although some are sponsored by illegal gambling groups). They work year-round in preparation for Carnival and the Carnival in Rio for International Students is a must-see event!
One of the key purposes of the Rio Carnival parade is for samba schools to compete amongst each other. This competition is the climax of the Carnival celebration. It runs for four nights, and at the end one school is declared the winner. They are judged by costume, flow, theme, and band music quality and performance.
Another feature of the Rio Carnival is the blocos. Blocos are groups of people who dress in costumes or special T-shirts with themes and/or logos. They include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revelers. They are generally associated with certain neighborhoods.
Street festivals are very common during Carnival, and are extremely popular with the locals, as anyone is allowed to participate in the street festivals. Music and dancing make up an integral part of the celebrations. In 2012, over 5 million people attended a bloco in Rio de Janeiro. Carnival is an experience you will certainly not want to miss if you have the opportunity to experience it. Let loose and experience the festival in all its glory!
To learn more about Brazil in general, and the Brazil International Student Insurance requirements, please visit our website for more information.