If you’re looking for the ultimate experience while you’re vacationing in Brazil, look no further than Carnivale – a yearly festival that’s held on the four days before Ash Wednesday. The celebration is technically a way for the locals to prepare for the period of Lent, but it’s grown into an extravagant event that rivals New Orleans’s Mardi Gras celebration. Expect a wild, energetic atmosphere – and a fabulous vacation you’ll never forget.
Interestingly enough, Carnivale – as it’s now known – began in Rio de Janeiro in the sixteen hundreds. The lavish costumes and masquerade style parties of this period were copied by the area’s elite as a way to celebrate before preparing for the deprivation of Lent. These celebrations grew as the years went by, until they eventually established themselves as the elaborate festivals that people experience today.
If you want to experience the most lavish Carnivale celebrations in Brazil, look into those occurring in Rio de Janeiro. These parties are so extravagant that they’ve become known as tourist destinations in their own right for visitors from all over the world. If you attend, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a parade-covered paradise, where dancers, drummers, and singers take the center stage and you’re nothing more than a spectator in this unusual world. The costumes that participants wear are elaborate, thought-provoking and sometimes revealing – if the sight of a little bare flesh offends you, it might be best to sit this one out!
If, however, you’re ready to experience the chaos that is Brazil’s Carnivale, you’ll want to make sure that you book your reservations as far in advance as possible, as the event is so well known that it sells out early on. In fact, some of the hotels in the area easily book up a year in advance. Fortunately, since the dates of the festival are always the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, you can easily book your travel reservations far in advance.
In addition, for something as popular as Carnivale it’s a good idea to consult with a travel agency. The reason for this is that they often know the best places to stay for the celebrations so that you’ll be in the heart of the festival. When you book things online without having seen what you’re getting into, you might find yourself miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Carnivale celebrations – which could have a real dampening affect on your vacation.
When basking in the celebrations of Carnivale, remember that you’ll need to let yourself go a little bit in order to get the most out of the experience. For example, if you’re planning on going, pick out a costume and mask that you can wear during the Carnivale. If you want, you can even go all out and participate in some of the costume contests that are often held at this time. Even if you don’t take your own costume, there are plenty of shops there to choose from that will help you find the perfect mask and outfit for the celebration.