Brazilian Carnival 2013. In Brazil, for the the 85th time takes place the most spectacular and exciting event of the year — carnival. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723. Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro which became a home for samba schools in 1984, presents the most famous and prestigious schools of samba in the country, which spend 1 million dollars per year on beautiful decorations, costumes and platform. This bright colorful parade of samba schools belong to the world’s biggest holidays. In 2012, more than 2 million people visited the streets of Rio de Janeiro to participate in the Cordao do Bola Preta bloco. According to police estimates, more than 5 million people attended a bloco during Rio Carnival 2013 and there was not one reported incident of crime.
Carnival is the largest popular festival in Brazil, the last chance for partying before Lent. The most extravagant celebration takes place along the eight miles of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, where, since the 1930s, the parades, pageants, and costume balls go on for four days, all accompanied by the distinctive rhythm of the samba. The whole city is decorated with colored lights and streamers, and impromptu bands play on every street corner. Banks, stores, and government offices are closed until noon on Ash Wednesday.
The high point of the Carioca (as the natives of Rio are known) Carnival is the parade of the samba schools (Escola de Samba), which begins on Carnival Sunday and ends about midday on Monday. The samba schools are neighborhood groups, many of whom come from the humblest sections of Rio, who develop their own choreography, costumes, and theme songs. The competition among them is as fierce as the rivalry of top sports teams. A single samba school can have as many as two to three thousand participants, so the scale of the parade can only be described as massive.
People spend months learning special dances for the parade, and must often raise huge sums of money to pay for their costumes, which range from a few strategically placed strings of beads
to elaborate spangled and feathered headdresses. Each samba school dances the length of the Sambadrome, a one-of-a-kind samba stadium designed by Oscar Niemeyer and built in 1984 to allow 85,000 spectators to watch the samba schools dance by. Viewing the parade from the Sambadrome
is usually an all-night affair.
The internationally renowned competition between 12 elite samba groups dazzles more than a billion spectators in person and on TV for two days, but it takes nearly a year and hundreds of workers, many of them volunteers, to pull each one together.
‘We’re anonymous artists. The public has no idea who builds all this,’ said Angelica da Silva Bernardes, one of those working in the warehouse run by the Grande Rio group. She’s a telemarketer who cuts her day job to part-time during the pre-Carnival season to help out her group in the afternoons and evenings. ‘Our motivation is seeing the way people light up when they see our work.’
Bernardes is part of an army of dedicated workers who spend their days, and, as Carnival approaches, their nights, designing, welding, carving, cutting, sewing and embroidering, all to create a seamless spectacle for others. In recent years, more and more of Carnival has moved into clubs, the Club Monte Libano being one of the most famous. The Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest held by transvestites on Sugarloaf Mountain is among the most unusual events.
Brazilian Carnival 2013
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World- Dictionary 2005