Why It is a last gasp celebration before all of Brasil live stoic lives for the duration of lent. That means no meat or sexual intercourse. Years ago Brazilians protested until the authorities recognised it as an official state festival.
Brazils best Carnaval
Where Rio, Salvador de Bahia & Olinda. Actuially most places in Rio state and Pernambuco in Brasil have the best shows.
Carnaval Brasil Festival dates
2013 : February 9, 10, 11, 12 2014 : March 1, 2, 3, 4 (for more dates than you can shake a stick at- see below).
Where to stay Rio is a very large city and has great accommodation. There are many backpackers & quality hotels in Rio, Salvador & the rest of Brasil available here.
Folias in Brazil
If you're a little early for carnaval then check out if there is a 'folia' near your journey. Folias are practically the same as carnival, they occur in most towns for instance Recife-Folia, Sao Paulo Folia and so on. You buy t-shirts for your favourite band and that's your ticket to dance behind the band you like on the street as they drive slowly on their bloco. If you're a girl at carnival or a folia take care as some people take 'lance perfume' (nitrous oxide mix that gets you high quick but can be very dangerous) and get a little touchy, Brazilians refer to the hand party of a carnaval as a 'suruba' (orgy !).
Folias are more about local popular music whereas the carnival is about samba & music.
Blocos hundreds of these parade around the streets with the best national bands playing on top of them. If you like the band you buy their t-shirt and you follow the truck in a closed area.
Samba Schools There are hundreds of these in each city so you can't avoid them. The faster these women move the more they wobble. It's a beautiful dance.
In my opinon the best places are for carnival in Brazil are Recife, Olinda and and Salvador De Bahia. The Carnaval in Rio is good but too commercial but let's be honest it doesn't matter if you are on a canoe floating down the Amazon - Brasil is party central for these few days.
Be careful Millions of people will be on the streets and your phone won't work. Lots of muggings and fights break out so be careful. I once saw a group of about twenty people running down the street grabbing things off everyone. They did it so fast and in such a great number that it is impossible to react. Don't wear anything valuable.
Brazils Carnaval dates Change ?
The Catholic liturgical adopted this celebration from Greek & Roman celebrations and allowed it to occur until Ash Wednesday. By the Catholic Calendar, Carnival is always celebrated seven Sundays before the Sunday of Easter. As this varies from March 22nd to April 25th, the Carnival dates also move each year.
Don't worry the pig has your back, here's Brazils carnival dates until 2030:
2010 dates: February 12th until February 16th
Rio Carnival 2013 dates: February 8th until February 12th
Rio Carnival 2014 dates: February 28th until March 4th
Rio Carnival 2015 dates: February 13rd until February 17th
Rio Carnival 2016 dates: February 5th until February 9th
Rio Carnival 2017 dates: February 24th until February 28th
Rio Carnival 2018 dates: February 9th until February 13th
Rio Carnival 2019 dates: March 1rd until March 5th
Rio Carnival 2020 dates: February 21st until February 25th
Rio Carnival 2021 dates: February 12th until February 16th
Rio Carnival 2022 dates: February 25th until March 1st
Rio Carnival 2023 dates: February 17th until February 21st
Rio Carnival 2024 dates: February 9th until February 13th
Rio Carnival 2025 dates: February 28nd until March 4th
Rio Carnival 2026 dates: February 13th until February 17th
Rio Carnival 2027 dates: February 5th until February 9th
Rio Carnival 2028 dates: February 25th until February 29th
Rio Carnival 2029 dates: February 9th until February 13th
Rio Carnival 2030 dates: March 1st until March 5th