Lent is fast approaching and sultry Rio de Janeiro takes this as the perfect excuse to party hard – several million people gyrate to the tribal beats, where the outfits are eye-dazzlingly bright and the drinks flow – welcome to The Greatest Show on Earth, aka Rio Carnival!
Situated on Brazil’s Atlantic Coast, Rio de Janeiro has an enviable reputation for really knowing how to party and the Rio Carnival is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the annual festival calendar. Steeped in Pagan tradition, this flamboyant festival dates back to at least 1823. Millions of locals, aka Cariocas, mingle with travellers for the hedonistic five day party, which runs from Friday 28 February to Tuesday 4 March.
The Greatest Show on Earth is all about the outfits, floats and music. Festival attire is bold and adventurous – there’s no such thing as too many sequins here! Elaborately decorated floats snake their way through the very heart of pulsating Rio de Janeiro, sporting dancers, drummers and performers – often clad in diamond encrusted g-strings! The music of choice is the sultry Samba, which has strong cultural roots; a fusion of African tribal beats and local influences. In all more than 200 local Samba schools take part in the annual Rio Carnival. The most famous will strut their stuff at the Oscar Niemeyer designed Sambodromo where thousands line the surrounding streets to catch a glimpse of these demi-gods.
All eyes are on Brazil in 2014 as the country hosts the FIFA World Cup, which kick off in July. And in 2016 the Olympic Games will get underway, in what promises to be a truly show stopping event.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a real travel experience for 2014, then the mighty Ro Carnival is highly recommended. Don a ceiling-skimming headdress and get ready to shake those hips, Brazilian style!
Image source; Êxtase Uploaded by russavia via Wikimedia CC-A-2.0