Carnival 2020

Feb 21st to 29th

Rio Carnival

All about Rio Carnival 2020

All about the biggest holiday in Brazil, the Carnival.

In late summer in Rio de Janeiro, from February 21st through the 24th, Rio Carnival 2020 will be celebrated by over 1 million visitors as well as local residents. With hundreds of street parties and balls there is plenty to do for everyone. Rio Carnival 2020 will culminate when the top Samba schools in Rio compete with each other to put on the best parade extravaganza possible. 

Carnival Dates Rio de Janeiro 2020

Rio carnival 2020 is going to start on Friday, February 21st and goes until Ashes Wednesday, February 26th. 

The samba schools parades in Rio will take place on February 21st and 22nd, when the Access group parades, on February 23rd and 24th when the Special group parades and also on Saturday, February 29th, when the champions parade will take place.

To understand the difference between the parades days watch the video below:

The History of Carnival 

During Rio Carnival 2020 the Samba schools will use the most modern technology possible to create jaw dropping show parades. Back in 1641 when the precursor to the modern Carnival was celebrated it consisted of a few elegant balls and masquerade dances. These balls were held to mirror the upper class festivals taking place in Paris and other major European cities.

When the Portuguese immigrants began to settle in Rio they brought with them their love of rough play, pelting friends and family with food, water and mud into the celebrations of the Carnival. Over the years the street fights became sophisticated parades filled with the aristocracy walking through the neighborhoods dressed in elegant and expensive costumes.

Ramon Moreira | Bookersinternational

With the rise in popularity of the polka and waltz, balls and dances returned to the Carnival. By the 1890s the parades were becoming much more organized with military bands and elaborate floats. Cordoes (neighborhood folks) started to get together to plan their parades. These Cordoes are the forerunners of the Blocos who will be planning the street parties for Rio Carnival 2020.

Samba Hits the Big Time

Like past Carnivals, Rio Carnival 2020 will be infused with the sounds of the Samba. It was not always this way. When Africans were brought to Brazil as slaves they carried with them their music and dance. This African beat was incorporated into the music of the Carnival. The distinctive African rhythm accompanied by a drum backbeat gradually developed into what we call Samba today. 

Sambadrome Parades

On Friday and Saturday of Carnival the Access competes at the Sambadrome. Finally the new schools get a chance to strut their stuff with their own Samba parade competition. The most talented Samba schools, called the Special Group, compete on Sunday and Monday. The Children's Parade take place at Sambodromo on tuesday. Just like their parents these youngsters develop a theme, write a song and choreograph their own dances.The top 6 Samba school winners of the Special Group are invited back to Sambadrome to put on another show for the spectators.

Partying in the Street

Some of the wildest parties are those organized by the Blocos. The Blocos are groups of neighbors who work together to plan street parties during the Carnival. They plan the parades and build floats that wind through the streets blasting Samba music. These street parties are quite rowdy and some can attract as many as 1 million people. The parties will run throughout the month of February during Rio Carnival 2020.

Reserving Your Space

The Carnival is one of the most popular celebrations in the world. Travelers from around the world flock to Rio de Janeiro annually to take part in the fun. If you are going to attend the Rio Carnival 2020 it is advisable to plan as far ahead as possible. Hotel rooms and tickets to the Sambadrome disappear very quickly.

Have Questions? Our experts are here to help you!

Newsletter

Enjoy early bird specials on tickets, hotels, and airfare.