Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Take your favorite spring break memories, add Halloween costumes, beautiful half-naked people, live music and an entire city that fuels the party and you’ll begin to understand carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

I spent the last week masquerading from one bloco to the next as Rio de Janeiro opened their doors to insanity.

Until I finish censoring the behind the scenes video footage from all the men in tights and endless nights, here’s a peek into my Rio de Janeiro carnival experience…

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

The party starts as soon as I wake up. Bloco view from my bedroom window.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival officially started on Thursday, February 28th with blocos (street parties) all over the city. The metro even has a posters up that show what bloco to go to at which stop.

People dress in crazy costumes and march with large percussion bands down the street while drinking and dancing for hours at a time. Once one bloco finishes everyone walks or takes the bus/metro to the next festa, making public transportation during carnival like a moving party as well.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

We partied while Christ watched from above at this bloco at Parque dos Patins near Jardim Botanico

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Traffic stood still for a week as Carnival in Rio de Janeiro took over.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Singing and dancing on the famous Escadaria Selaron (Selaron Steps) during a bloco

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Capacity crowd in Ipanema for this beachside bloco during Carnival

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Ipanema Beach packed with people celebrating Carnival

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

People would come to their windows to dance and cheer as blocos passed by

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Quick snack break.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

My roommate Gabriel and I in the thick of things

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

The party only turns up when the sun goes down. My second time seeing Monobloco and it was spectacular.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

It's all about the plazas (public squares), where you can find a party anytime. This is Plaza San Salvador in Laranjeiras.

Along with the citywide street parties every day, the major event of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the world famous parade of samba schools at the Samb0dromo (Sambodrome) stadium.

During the first two nights of carnival, smaller samba schools called “Grupo de Acesso” (access group) parade in Sambodromo and then the following two nights are reserved for the top schools known as “Grupo Especial.”

I bought a ticket for night one to watch samba school powerhouses Manguiera, Salgueiro and Beija-Flor.

I think the Brazilian woman sitting next to me said it best… it was pure emotion.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

The Famous Sambodromo (Sambadrome) in Rio de Janeiro (Night One Special Group)

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

I can't believe I'm here.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Fireworks announce the start of each Samba School into the parade at Sambodromo

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

The packed crowd watching each samba school sing and dance to the beating music. It's electrifying.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Costumes in motion. They were over the top and absolutely breathtaking.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Game face.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Each school has a number of women leading the charge and getting a lot of attention.

On day two of “grupo especial” I had the opportunity to join in on the fun and actually parade with the Mocidade samba school. I turned over every rock and bugged every single samba school until someone let me in and it was all worth it.

As you will see in the video coming later this week, it was an intense atmosphere behind the scenes as each samba school has so much riding on the performance.

Somehow I got positioned in the front row of my group and had to sing and dance in rhythm without learning the dance moves or song until an hour before show time.

If anyone failed to sing or dance in unison, the samba school would loose points.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Hours before showtime behind the scenes on day two of the parade at Sambadromo.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Everyone in the Mocidade Samba School preparing for the spotlight.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Carnival Parade Members or Liberace's Personal Security Team?

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

The float we were following consisted of topless women and giant tiki heads

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

I don't always take selfies, but when I do, it's in front of 90,000 cheering Brazilians

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

I guess I did good enough to get some love from one of the dancers after we performed.

After all 12 top samba schools performed (and many blocos and parties later) there was a championship ceremony a on Wednesday from Sambodromo to announce the winner of the carnival (based on this criteria).

My roommate heard that Salgueiro was a front runner to win the entire competition so we went up to Tijuca to watch the results live from their samba school.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Salgueiro Samba School watching the Carnival championship be announced

Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

Every time the announcer announced "10" for Salgueiro the crowd would erupt!

It was a dramatic process that left the crowd cheering with every “10″ announced and almost in tears (many were) every time a 9.9 or 9.8 appeared on the scoreboard.

Salgueiro ended up loosing to Unidos de Tijuca by .3 points and the entire room was devastated (until the music started back up again).

This marked the end of Rio de Janeiro Carnival for me despite the fact that blocos and festas continued well into the weekend in centro and all over the city.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival

Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2014, that's a wrap. Time to get back to work.

I slept for about 20 hours straight and then channeled my inner Pharrell to make the Rio de Janeiro Carnival Happy Video.

Stayed tuned for Rio de Janeiro Carnival: Behind the Scenes coming soon!

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

13 Responses to Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Photos

  1. Last photo is my favorite, you captured so much in one shot !

  2. Well played, Townie. Well played.

  3. Nice glimpses. Eager to see it in real!

  4. Awesome pictures! I was just in Rio in December – already want to go back!
    MightyTravels recently posted..Earn 250 US Airways Dividend Miles per day with AvisMy Profile

    • Gareth

      I heard Christmas and New Years is crazy down here. Well, I’m learning that they say that about every time of the year here in Rio, haha!

  5. Wow! Don’t these Brazilians know how to party huh?! Carnival in Rio, a real sight to see and enjoy. Thanks for the photos. They’re great!

    • Gareth

      Hamish, I had to sleep for two days straight after Carnival. The Brazilians definitely know how to party!! Thank you.

  6. john smeeth

    wow! well played full of fun and happiness.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge