PHOTOS: Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2011 including celebrated people
Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:26 PM
This festival of music and dance is really a sight to behold. Here are the best photos from the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro 2011. take a look at the best Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2011 photos:
Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:41 AM
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosts one of the annual worldwide pre-Lent celebrations. Rio de Janeiro Carnival's world-renowned festivities enchant the droves of participants and spectators arriving each year. Extravagant parades, balls and street parties allow individuals to say "farewell to the flesh" (the Latin origin of the word "carnival") and enjoy a memorable event.
The roots of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival date back over 200 years. During the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, revelers let loose to prepare for the 40 days of abstinence ahead. Carnival was introduced in Rio de Janeiro by the Portuguese around 1850. Original carnival events were uncivilized and not sanctioned by the Brazilian government. Participants played in the streets, throwing water, mud and food at each other.
Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:46 AM
The festivities are initiated with the crowning and presentation of the city's key to King Momo. King Momo represents the Greek god of mockery, sent to Rio from Mount Olympus. Characterized by a large man, King Momo symbolizes Fat Tuesday, the fourth and final day of the celebration. A spirited Queen of Carnival is selected as the result of a contest.
Intended as a time of celebration for everyone, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a time when social and class expectations are disregarded. Traditionally, rich dressed as poor and poor as rich; men dressed as women; and slaves were free. These traditions carry on in the present as costumes and cross-dressing are common. The Rio de Janeiro Carnival continues to represent a time of freedom, with festivities available for all walks of life to enjoy.
Organized and competitive parades became part of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in the late 1800s. Street parties developed into an engaging event highlighting dedicated preparation by Rio de Janeiro's samba schools. Each school presents a unique theme and performs to a tune created especially for the annual Samba Parade. Samba schools may consist of 3,000 to 5,000 members and embody the local communities.
Although the Samba Parade is the main attraction, four other parades entertain spectators throughout the carnival. The four additional formal parades are the Champions Parade, Samba Schools Access Group A, Samba Schools Access Group B and Children's Samba Schools.