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When most people think of Rio De Janeiro, they think of Carnival. Despite carnivals being held in numerous towns and cities around the globe, Rio De Janeiro in Brazil has long been thought of as the Carnival Capital of the World, and for good reason. Not only is Rio’s Carnival the largest in the world, it is also the one which every other carnival is compared to.
This wild and fantastic celebration commences 40 days before Easter each year, and is held over a four day period ending on Fat Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent.
Carnival is an immensely important event to the Brazilians and is packed with singing, dancing and general merriment; the festivities are open to everyone to participate in and enjoy.
Attracting around 500,000 visitors every year, it is certainly a very busy and expensive time to spend in the city, and accommodation is always at a premium. It also takes place during the hottest time of year in the southern hemisphere.
The first pre-cursors to the modern day Carnival held in Rio date back to the early 1700s and often resulted in street riots following the Portuguese participants throwing mud, water and food at each other. Today, the flamboyant event is organized by the samba schools in the city and is made up of parades, dance performances, parties and masquerade balls. The organizers often compose their own music, which is added to the performance of classic ‘marchinhas’, or marches, and samba songs.
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