Brazilian Carnival

Published 2nd March 2011
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Brazilian Carnival

Yes, it’s time for the Greatest Show in the Universe, which is Brazilian Carnival! Come over and shake your hips, and get involved in the incredible Carnival atmosphere that grips the country at this time of year. This year, the Greatest Show in the Universe runs from 4 March to 8 March. To find out when Carnival is in any given year, it ends the day before Ash Wednesday, having started on the Friday before.

Year after year

Brazilian Carnival is something spectacular that gets better every year, and of course the best thing to do is actually participate in the parade to feel the spirit of the occasion. You can choose either the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, which is more luxurious, or the São Paulo Carnival, which is more authentic. Just choose one of the samba schools and learn their song, then get that flight and take to the Sambodrome. If you are energetic, you can even do it all: two days samba’ing in São Paulo on Friday and Saturday, then whisk down to Rio for the parades on Sunday and Monday. The trip to Rio takes 6 hours by bus, but you can get there by air in 1 hour. If you go by car, you can stop for lunch halfway in Lorena.

Samba

In general, each samba school has around 4,000 people and has its parade opened by an Opening Troupe (comissão de frente) and the Opening Float (abre-alas). Each school has a theme (enredo) which must be transmitted by the different sections (alas) of the school, the floats (carros alegóricos), costumes (fantasias) and other ornaments (alegorias e adereços); there is also the samba theme (samba-enredo) which is produced by the drummers (bateria) and sung by a lead singer (puxador).

One highlight is the section of women in typical Bahian garb (Ala das Baianas), and then there is the Head Dancer and Standard Bearer (mestre-sala e porta-bandeira). Atop the floats are famous people (destaques), these usually being models, politicians, Globo soap opera actors and former participants of Big Brother Brazil (BBB). Strict rules govern timing, size of floats, constitution of the parade and the like. The results come out on Ash Wednesday, often amid scuffles between people from different schools, then everything calms down as people start preparing for next year.

El carnaval brasileño

¡Sí, ya está aquí el mayor espectáculo del universo, el carnaval brasileño! Ven con nosostros a mover tus caderas, y sumérgete en el increible ambiente carnavalesco que se disfruta en el país durante esta época del año. Este año, el mejor espectáculo del mundo tendrá lugar del 4 al 8 de marzo. Para saber las fechas de los Carnavales en un año determinado, ten en cuenta que siempre termina el día antes del Miércoles de Ceniza y comienza el viernes anterior.

Año tras año

El Carnaval brasileño es una fiesta sensacional que va mejorando año tras año. Lo mejor para sentir el espíritu real de la fiesta es participar tu mismo en el desfile . Para ello tienes 2 opciones: asistir al Carnaval de Río de Janeiro, que es más lujoso, o bien al Carnaval de São Paulo, el más auténtico. Sólo debes escoger una de las escuelas de samba y aprender su canción, y a continuación, coger ese vuelo con destino al Sambódromo. Si tienes aguante, incluso se puede hacer todo: dos días samba en São Paulo, el viernes y el sábado, y luego corriendo hasta Río a tiempo para ver los desfiles del domingo y lunes. El viaje a Río dura 6 horas en bus, pero se puede llegar en avión en una hora. Si vas en coche, puedes parar a mitad de camino para comer en la localidad de Lorena.

Samba

Cada escuela de samba (en portugués escola de samba) cuenta con alrededor 4.000 personas, que desfilan precedidos por la Comisión de Frente (Comissão De Frente) y la carroza de apertura (abre-alas). Cada escuela exhibe una temática (enredo) a través de las diferentes secciones (alas) en las que se divide, de sus carrozas (carros alegóricos), trajes (fantasías) y demás adornos (alegorias e adereçosa). No olvidemos la samba-enredo, el tema de samba, que es representado por un grupo de tambores (bateria) y por un cantante (puxador). Llama la atención una de las alas, formada por mujeres con vestimenta típica de Salvador de Bahía (Ala das Baianas); también el bailarín que encabeza el baile y el porta banderas (mestre-sala e porta-bandeira).

Sobre las carrozas se colocan personajes famosos (destaques), que suelen ser políticos, actores de telenovelas de la cadena Globo y ex participantes de Gran Hermano Brasil (BBB). Una estricta normativa rige el tiempo de cada desfile, la dimensión de cada escuela, la estructura del desfile y todo lo relativo al espectáculo. Los resultados salen el Miércoles de Ceniza, a menudo rodeados de discusiones entre las distintas escuelas, hasta que todo se calma y la gente comienza a prepararse para el carnaval del año siguiente.

 

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