The most iconic and largest carnival in the world. Often described as “The Greatest Show On Earth”.
Up to 2 million people per day line the streets of Rio from the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday to Ash Wednesday at noon, which marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period before Easter.
If you really want to understand the question what is Carnival, head off to the Sambodromo particularly on Carnival Sunday and Monday to experience first-hand why this annual tradition is visited by millions of people from all the part of the world.
The stadium can sit more than 80,000 visitors as well as accommodate 5,000 participants through the wide Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue. Now, what is Carnival without the samba parade? You can feel the resonance of the drums, cymbals and trumpets echo through the Sambodromo and brim over to the streets.
The top samba schools get the honour of performing in front of millions at the Sambodromo . It’s obvious by watching the performances at the Sambodromo the amount of preparation that goes into each dance step, the choice of song and the selection of dancers to represent each school.
There’s a panel of around 40 judges who sit at key points throughout the stadium watching every nuance of movement, appraising the thread and sequin of each costume, the significance of the song, the integrity to the samba. The energy is palpable throughout the stadium that spectators are known to dance along with the participants.
The judges will announce the champion on Ash Wednesday.