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Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2023

Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2023

Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2023 – The Eliis Brazilian office will be closed from the 20th to the 22nd to celebrate!

Have you ever watched the sumptuous parades of the Rio Carnival, its colorful costumes, grand floats and percussion bands? The employees of Eliis Brazil are experiencing it every year since the subsidiary was created back in 2018 . 

Carnival history

The establishment of Carnival in Rio dates back to the 19th century and was inspired by Parisian festivities and the tradition of masked balls "à la française". Felipe Ferreira, professor of culture and popular arts at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, explains that Parisians, after 1830, occupied their free time during the carnival period by walking or driving along the main boulevards dressed in elegant costumes. This form of strolling inspired the Carioca elite who adapted it to transform it into masquerades.

In 1840, the inhabitants of Rio participated in their first carnival organized as a grand ball to the rhythm of the polka or French waltz. It was in 1917 that the traditional samba was born. This music, which has its roots in West Africa and Angola, was brought to Brazil by slaves. After the abolition of slavery in 1888, composers, musicians and dancers meet regularly to share their love of samba. The public appreciates more and more their talent, and their popularity does not stop growing. Over time, various clubs and associations began to compete. In 1928 "Deixa Falar" was the first samba school. Since then, the schools have evolved greatly. Their infrastructure and organization have become professional. Their mission is to play a role with the underprivileged populations. 

The African influence is also reflected in the costumes. The choice of feathers and natural materials that adorn the masks and clothes originate from ancestral practices to invoke the gods and drive away evil spirits.

The first parade dates back to 1932. Until 1984, the Rio Carnival parades took place on Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue, one of the oldest streets in the city. But faced with the influx of spectators, the city hired the architect Oscar Niemeyer to build concrete structures on both sides of the street, now called the Sambadrome. Each year the samba schools have 85 minutes to present their spectacular work. On Sunday and Monday, the twelve schools compete for the title of champion.

Are carnivals part of our heritage? 

The Greeks already organized carnivals to celebrate the god of wine. The Romans took up the tradition in honor of Bacchus and Saturnalia. On this occasion, masters and soldiers exchanged their clothes. The Roman Catholic Church continues the custom by orchestrating a celebration before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Christian calendar. The word carnival may come from the term Carne Vale which means "farewell to meat" during Lent. 

Today, Brazilians and tourists from all over the world flock to Rio de Janeiro to attend the samba parades and the typical celebrations of the country. Our office in Rio de Janeiro will be closed for 3 days, from February 20th to 22nd, for everyone to enjoy the festivities!

Feliz festa de carnaval!

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