Facts about the Rio Carnival, Brazil
- Brazil is famous all over the world for its Carnival in February each year. Brazilians dress in flamboyant costumes and there is a lot of dancing, singing and partying.
- Known as Carnaval in Portuguese it is the world’s biggest carnival.
- The celebration is held for 5 days, 40 days before Easter.
- Over 500,000 foreign visitors attend the Carnival every year with over 2 million people on the streets every day of the event.
- Almost all of the music played at Brazil’s Carnival is samba. Samba originated in Rio and is derived from the Agrican slaves brought to Brazil in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
- The Carnival officially begins with the crowning of King Momo (the Fat King) who is presented with a silver and gold key by the city mayor.
- The parade, with all the fantastic costumes which are iconic of Rio around the world, is called the Samba Parade.
- Those taking part in the Samba Parade are often from the local communities such as the fuvelas. They practice and make their costumes and floats all year. Each area has their own samba school and they compete against their local rivals in the carnival.
Some other Facts about Brazil
- Brazil is the world’s 5th largest country in Sq Miles (1st – Russia, 2nd – Canada, 3rd – China, 4th – United States, 6th – Australia) and the largest country in South America.
- Brazil is the only South American country to speak Portuguese, the rest speak Spanish.
- Brazil is hosting both the FIFA world cup in 2014 and the summer Olympics in 2016.
- Brazil is a republic which means it has a government which is elected by the people who live in Brazil.
- Rio De Janeiro is not the capital of Brazil. The actual capital is Brasilia but many people do not know this as Rio is much more famous. Rio De Janeiro used to be the capital city until 1960 but they changed it to try and encourage more people to populate the inland territory.
- Brazilians have a lot of bright colours in their culture.
- Brazil is home to the famous football player, Pelé. Pelé is widely regarded as the best footballer of all time and is treated as a national hero.
- Brazil has both very rich and very poor people. The very poor people often live in ‘Fuvelas’ which are shanty towns in the major cities. These are very small and not very well built houses which are built very close together because of overpopulation. The most famous Fuvelas are in Rio De Janeiro and can be seen on the hillside surrounding the city. The Fuvelas can be very dangerous places to live and are rife with violent crime.