Rio Carnival: the biggest party in the world. And you can be part of it if you join a Brazilian Samba school for the night.
Held 51 days before lent and officially continuing to Ash Wednesday, Carnival history is an interesting one. Its name derives from Roman Catholics and Christians who would abstain from eating meat on some days of Lent. Carnival comes from the Portuguese word ‘carnelevare’, which literally translates as ‘raise – or remove – the meat’. This ritual has now evolved into the world’s biggest festival. And you can immerse yourself in it by joining Bamba Experience’s Samba school and letting them teach you some steps.
Sambadrome isn’t a token bit of the carnival. This is full on carnival experience. Samba is huge in Brazil, their schools are vital to the history of their dance culture.
You’ll walk out with the parade, forming part of the ‘wing’ with around 80 performers. You don’t need a costume, it’s provided for you. Not only is this your ticket into the Sambadrome, you get to keep it after the carnival. All in all, not a bad souvenir.
Worried that you’re too old or that your dancing isn’t up to much? Don’t be. There’s no set age for this experience (carnival really isn’t about boundaries), so if you can take your kids and you parents along.
You’ll learn your simple dance steps in your warm up so you can leave the complicated stuff to the pros. There’s so much energy during Carnival and that’s really all that is required of you, along with your dance moves of course.
If you’ve always wanted to experience the Rio Carnival, then Bamba Experience’s Samba school will make the event even more memorable.
You’ll need to book your place in the school at least a month before the carnival.
What you need to know:
You can book up to 30 days in advance but these places will book up very quickly. It’s also advisable to get your Visa in order as soon as possible, Brazilian visas can be complicated but are often rejected on issues that are easily avoided.