5 fun facts about Brazil’s Carnival


We all think we know Carnival. The bright colours, the feathers, the music. It’s the most popular festival in Brazil after all – but we’ve dug a little deeper to find out some fun facts you can cram before you start dancing.

Here are five facts about Brazil’s Carnival: 

Carnival in Numbers

  • 40 days before Easter, Carnival begins and is held for 5 days.
  • 500,000 foreign visitors attend carnival every year.
  • 2 million people take to the streets every day.
  • 10 million litres of beer are consumed every year.

Beat the Meat

There’s a folklore that says Carnival comes from the Latin ‘Carnis Valles’ which roughly translates as ‘farewell meat’ because it begins before the Lent period.

So, all that dancing, drinking and fun is really just to say goodbye to steak dinners.

Carnival Begins at Home

It’s not just a Brazilian event either, Carnival is celebrated all over the world.

There’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans and in Venice slightly creepy masks are a common feature on the streets.

But there can be no imitators. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Brazil’s Carnival as the biggest in the world.

Take it to the Streets

Carnival is celebrated either on the city streets of places like Rio and Salvador or in the popular Samba Parade.

The parades are broadcasted live to the entire country and there are competitions among local communities from favelas called samba schools.

Held in the Sambodromo, the schools are judged on how elaborate their floats and costumes are as well as their dancing and music. Some schools spend over $4 million on their endeavours.

A Bloco For Everyone

There are around 587 street parties known as blocos held in the city from mid-January to mid-February with all the bands, costumes and wild parties you might expect.

But did you know that there’s a bloco for everyone?

From old people to those with mental health issues, Carnival has a space for all to party!

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Juliana is the Head of Research and Senior Portuguese Language Expert. She was born in Minas Gerais in Brazil where she studied Social Communication and Journalism. Later she studied Portuguese Literature and Language and did an MA in Digital Media, Culture and Education and another one in Management. When she’s not studying, she loves dogs, travelling and dancing! Her favourite food is pão de queijo (that’s Brazilian cheese balls if you didn’t already know!)


  1. També hi ha carnaval al Congrés de Diputats. Allà sí que la ballen bé, i acaben a clatallots. Huston, tenim un problema (que no és el del 3%, perque aquesta comissió és el xocolata del lloro) Tenim un problema que és diu Marianico el corto, alies el no, no, no, no, no.

  2. splandide, mais a la fois dangereuse/jai baucoup barraguiner atravers ce linguage (baraguiner= parler le chinois,je me suis bien amuser goodnight


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