Since 1840 when the high society of Rio started celebrating Carnival it became a traditional party in Brazil. Back then it had an European flair, with waltz and quadrille. Outside on the streets people were dancing like the traditional Portuguese party the Shrovetide, wearing costumes and masks. The one thing they had in common, were nights with a lot of drinks, energy and amazing mood, where everyone was trying to have fun!
Time passed and the party just got bigger and bigger, the government started to transform what it was once just a party celebrated by the people into a big and famous party. The street carnival got split from the carnival schools parade and the “Blocos”, big cars with sounds, and live bands that play all around the city.
Rio hosts more than 300 street parades, taking place at any given point in time in the weeks leading to Carnival and right after as well. While the biggest street party takes place right outside the Sambadrome, the largest organized street dance is typically found in Cinelândia Square in Rio’s Centro. In 2012, more than 2 million revelers took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro to participate in the Cordão da Bola Preta bloco.
In Rio we have 12 “premium” schools, that are the ones that put on the show at the Sambodrome, this carnival is the biggest popular party in the world, so if you want to watch this incredible show, go and run to buy the tickets, cause once they start selling it, its matter of days till they sell out.
If watching is not enough for you and you want to really experience Carnival, you can be a part of It! To feel the energy of the band singing and playing samba, dancing close to the famous mulatas, all you have to do is buying a costume and parade in the Sambodrome. There are many ways to enjoy Carnival in Rio, just choose yours!
Here is a list of the most famous and traditional Samba Schools in Rio:
G.R.E.S. Unidos da Tijuca
G.R.E.S. Beija-Flor de Nilópolis
G.R.E.S. Acadêmicos do Salgueiro
G.R.E.S. Unidos de Vila Isabel
G.R.E.S. Acadêmicos do Grande Rio
G.R.E.S. Estação Primeira de Mangueira
G.R.E.S. Imperatriz Leopoldinense
G.R.E.S. União da Ilha do Governador
G.R.E.S. Mocidade Ind. de Padre Miguel