Carnaval in Brazil
In Brazil, it’s jokingly said that the year only really begins after Carnaval, the annual five-day festival before Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent. Brazilians take Carnaval seriously: most of the country shuts down to take part in the festivities and some participants begin planning their costumes and events up to a year in advance. The cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória are known for giant parades led by samba schools, which bring in millions of viewers in person and through televised broadcasts. Smaller parades, or blocinhos, are also very popular as anyone can join in the parade as it progresses.
In the northeast, Carnaval is heavily influenced by Afro-Brazilian culture—and especially by its music. Huge crowds follow trucks blasting live music performances from famous Brazilian stars. This year’s singers include Claudia Leitte (@claudialeitte), Ivete Sangalo (@veveta), Gilberto Gil (@gilbertogil), Preta Gil (@pretagil) and Daniela Mercury (@danielamercury).