Culture of Brazilian Carnaval - Introduction

Brazil Carnival Introduction Culture

To fully understand the Brazilian Carnival, we must go back to the history of the country when African, European and native indigenous cultures began to intermingle.   Most of the cultural elements we see today in this magical festivity have an historic background and follow a coherent line of associations with the ceremonies of the past.   One of these associations is the development of the samba-schools, which are a product of 17th century rituals.  Carnaval elements like the Porta-bandeira / Flag-Bearer, the Baianas and the Samba-Host / Mestre-Sala, are some of these expression we will be visiting.

Watch below two brand new videos: Importance of Costumes & the Baianas!

Below a Float from 2007 Mangueira parade

Mangueira samba School Float

Photo Credit: Prefeitura do Rio de Janeiro - Danielle Cezar

Below we see How Costumes are important at the Carnival Culture.


We want to make sure readers gain intimacy with this centenary cultural institution and answer many of its questions like: What exactly are samba-schools?  Why do we always see a Flag-bearer-Porta-bandeira at the parades?  How samba-music was developed?  How was primitive samba-school Drum Sections / Baterias organized?   These are some of the questions you will see answered in our Cultural directory.   Please see below some of the expressions we will review:

Here, a marvelous picture by Danielle Cezar of Kama Sutra Float, in the 2007 Rio Parade.

carnaval 2007 float

Brazil´s Carnival Elements & Expressions

  • Origins and History  
  • Chronology of Brazilian Carnaval
  • Brazil´s Carnival Glossary of Terms
  • Dates Carnival from 2010 to 2030
  • Origins of Samba music & rhythm and how it affected the parades
  • Organization and structure of Rio de Janeiro´s Samba Schools
  • Rio´s Street Carnival expressions, like “Blocos de Rua
  • Characteristic personas, like the masquerades, cross-dressing, traditional Baianas
  •  Luxury Carnival Costume Balls from early century to today
  • Brazil´s Samba & Carnaval Personalities
  • Cross Cultural references
  • Samba Day, associations & spin-offs

More of the Legendary Baianas of Carnival, who pass on the tradition to future generations

Below, the magical moment captured by Alexandre Vidal, of a Samba School reveler.

Fantastic Costume at Sambadrome

At the photo above by Agencia FOTO BR team, we can see the exotic dance of a Comissão de Frente  ( Opening Section Wing ) member - Credits: Alexandre Vidal, Ari Versiani, Fernando Azevedo, Levy Ribeiro, Luiz Alvarenga.

As outlined above, this festivity is imbedded in Brazil’s culture and has evolved over centuries.  For Brazilians, the cultural bond to the Carnaval is perhaps stronger than the Germans and Oktoberfest, the Argentines and the tango or the Americans with Hollywood movies. Globally, when we think of Brazil, we think of Carnival and soccer. Brazilians are affected from birth by the Samba.  

As an example of this attachment, parents bring their infants and children to balls in carnaval costumes, generation after generation.   Kids learn the Samba rhythm as early as in middle school, and adolescents soon grow up and associate with samba-schools.   The description of this bond between Brazil´s Carnival culture and the Brazilian society is what we want to show in structured and entertaining format.   We believe that more than attending parades in Rio, tourists want to understand the origins and details of this grand festival and ultimately gain a deeper emotional experience.

Join us in this marvelous and magical voyage!

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