Picture of carnival in brazil
Carnival season begins after Reveillon, Brazil’s New Year’s celebration, and in Rio de Janeiro,
kicks into high gear late in January on “Dia de São Sebastião,” the day of Saint Sebastion, patron
saint of Rio de Janeiro. Every year, before Christmas, the top groups belonging to the Grupo
Especial (Special Group) record their sambas de enredo (theme songs) for the year at an outdoor theater in the
south of Rio de Janeiro. These recordings, which are sold as CD’s and cassette tapes, are heard
everywhere, blaring from speaker systems outside of record stores, and even ambient music
systems in shopping malls and grocery stores.
Carnival proper begins on the Friday afternoon before Lent. During this time, there are parades -
some planned, some spontaneous - in every part of Rio de Janeiro. It seems that anywhere there
is a small plaza, a stage is set up, and bands and DJ’s play music until the wee hours. When one feels that
he has exhausted the possibilities of one of these street parties, he only has to move on to the next
one, following the noise and crowds moving down the street. This scene is repeated in every city,
town and village in Brazil.