It’s time for the yearly carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Here’s 10 interesting facts you didn’t know about the festivities.
- Along with all the other carnivals of Brazil, the Rio de Janeiro carnival marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day sacrifice period before Easter.
- In 2011, 4.9 million people took part in the festivities in Rio. 400,000 of those were foreigners.
- The first festival dates back as far as 1723.
- There are more than 2 million people on the streets every day during the carnival
- More than 200 different samba schools from Rio participate
- The main carnival parades takes place in the Sambadrome
- The samba dance, originating from the Bahia region with African rhythms, came to Rio de Janeiro around 1920
- The carnival is a national holiday in Brazil
- Many Rio habitants not wanting to participate in the festival, actually leave the city for quieter places during the festival
- The Rio de Janeiro carnival is often cited as the “world’s largest party”.