Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo 2012 - 55 Carnival Photos part 1

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The Samba is a diverse and versatile art form and people never get tired of listening to its beat which is as contagious as the Carnival fever that spreads throughout Sao Paulo before Ash Wednesday every year. From samba songs to samba themes, the Carnival captures the entertainment world for a week. The extravaganza may seem like an indulgence to some but is in fact a unifying force for those who live in the favelas, the birthplace of the samba. The fierce sense of tradition that the Carnival invokes is also spiritual nourishment for the Brazilians who are proud of their heritage.

The Rio Carnival

Popularly known as Greatest Show on Earth, the Rio Carnival is the most celebrated event of the Brazil Carnival. It is the event to catch with sensational parades, hip-twitching music, enticing dancers, over-the-top costumes and parties galore. At the centre of the Rio Carnival is the grand Samba Parade when twelve of the most talented Samba Schools vie for honor of Champion of the Samba Parade. Each school chooses a theme and creates an eighty-minute performance surrounding it. Everything is produced from scratch – the infectious music, the incomparable Samba choreography and the dazzling (bordering on unbelievable) costumes. The parades take place in the great Sambodromo, a concrete structure constructed specifically for the Carnival. Consisting of an avenue with stands on either side, it is divided into sectors and within each sector are different types of tickets. From the VIP tickets which to the grandstand free seating options, the Rio Carnival 2012 is accessible to all.

Anhembi Sambadrome Carnival’s Competition Zone

Hundreds and thousands of visitors head for the Carnival in Sao Paulo every year, not just to party but also to experience true Afro-Brazilian culture.  Since 1991, the Anhembi Sambadrome is the focus of Carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo. The parade features the top samba schools from the city including Gavioes da Fiel, Vai-Vai, Camisa Verde e Branco, Unidos do Peruche, and others. The competition includes two afoxé groups with strong Afro-Brazilian roots. Local residents are actively involved in the creation of costumes and floats for the samba schools and other street parades held throughout the city.

Unlike Rio, the main days of the Carnival are Friday and Saturday with the top samba schools competing for the prestigious championship trophy; the winners of which are declared on Ash Wednesday. Over 30,000 spectators at the Sambadrome are transported into frenzy as the sights and sounds of the samba schools begin to work through their bodies. Tickets for the parade range in price. A number of private boxes with seating arrangements for 25 are also available.

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