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Carnival. which takes place throughout Brazil, is a moveable feast that is tied to the religious Calendar. It is a traditional pre-Lenten celebration which ends on Ash Wednesday.

Carnival activities around Brazil normally take place from the Friday prior to Ash Wednesday and continue up to an  including Ash Wednesday itself. In some cities the celebrations will spill over through the entire week and include the following weekend. Most Brazilian offices and business will close for the week of Carnival in much the same way companies in many parts of the world close between Christmas and the New Year.

One of the traditional highlights of carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the parade of the top samba schools which take place on the Sunday and Monday nights of carnival along the purpose built Passarela do Samba (Sambódromo), located on Avenida Marques de Sapucaí, close to the city centre. The winners’ parade, featuring the top samba schools from all the divisions, will take place on the evening of Saturday, 28 February 2004.


Organized by the League of Samba Schools and the Rio Tourist Board (Riotur), tickets for the parades can normally be reserved through most good tour operators. Tickets for the grandstand are priced at around US$ 157,08 while a six-seater box will cost approximately US$ 1,570.08 (US$ 267,04 per head).







The dates for the Sunday and Monday night parades through 2010 will be:

2004 22 & 23 February
2005 6 & 7 February
2006 27 & 28 February
2007 18 & 19 February
2008 3 & 4 February
2009 22 & 23 February
2010 14 & 15 February


But carnival is not just about Rio de Janeiro. It is celebrated throughout the country. Other major carnival celebrations are held in Salvador, Recife and Olinda.

Useful links to carnival in other parts of Brazil include:

Salvador: (P)
Recife: (P)

Carnaval Collection:

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