Samba Fans Get Ready To Party Hard

By By Guest Contributor Claire De Oliveira

BRAZIL’S Carnival has kicked off with millions of people taking to the streets of the north-eastern city of Salvador de Bahia to dance and party, effectively putting the nation on a week-long hiatus.

Over the coming days, festivities will consume the entire country of 193 million people. The climax arrives tomorrow and on Monday with Rio de Janeiro’s extravagant and sexy parades, replete with near-naked dancing queens and over-the-top fantasy floats.Even the capital Brasilia was suspending political and legislative work, with many lawmakers leaving town to enjoy the celebrations. ”Brazil’s Carnival is a tradition. Nobody can resist the need to be part of it,” the head of the Senate, Jose Sarney, said.

Salvador de Bahia, with its heady melange of African rhythms and Portuguese colonial architecture, as usual was quickest to get started with dance-and-drinking celebrations. The annual pre-Easter frenzy is a big tourist draw, especially for Rio, where authorities have been cracking down on criminal gangs to improve the city’s violent image.

The top carnival parade groups – Rio’s samba schools – will crown the rejoicing by filing through the 70,000-seat Sambadrome stadium for a global television audience. The parades are at once an exhibition of pride for the city’s massive poor population, and a competition watched nationally as closely as any major football game. Each of the 12 samba schools will deploy up to 5000 dancers, with all of them led by the ”drum queens” – sculpted women in heels wearing little more than feathers, sequins and big smiles. Those schools spend between $2 million and $5 million for their shows, most of it spent on floats bedecked with moving mythological creatures or allegories.

This year, three schools will be cheered on even louder for taking part despite having some or most of their preparations wiped out by a fire in their warehouses a month ago. They have been working round the clock to replace costumes and floats, and each has vowed that their spirit will make up for whatever props are missing.  Rio is treating the event as a showcase for its organisational skills ahead of hosting the football games of the 2014 World Cup and then the 2016 summer Olympics.

About Travel to Brazil Blog - BrazilnutsTours

Brazil Nuts Tours was started in 1985 on the proposition that travelers needed a travel company that combined the highest level of customer service, unmatched product expertise and competitive rates. Over the years, we have succeeded in our mission, and have developed a reputation as the experts in travel to Brazil and South America. Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff has helped thousands of travelers discover the Brazil they really wanted to see, from Rio’s beaches and samba clubs through the pristine wilderness of the Amazon to the sun-drenched shores of Bahia and everywhere in between. Customer Service Our knowledgeable staff will customize your perfect itinerary free of charge; simply fill out our Trip Planning Sheet, send it to us and you’ll have an answer, generally within 24 hours Innovative Programs We were the first travel company in North America to develop and promote Pantanal programs. We were also the first to design culture tours focusing on African-Brazilian culture. And, our "Rio Like A Native", "Salvador Like A Native" and "Manaus Like A Native" programs are unequalled for the inside look they provide into the Brazilian experience. Nobody offers more interesting programs to more of Brazil than us. Support & Price We have our own office in Brazil responsible for negotiating the very best hotel and service rates possible, and then handling all our clients' needs once they arrive in Brazil. Proven Success We are the company of choice for any kind of travel needs to Brazil: Leisure Travel: Guide books and articles in travel publications consistently rank Brazil Nuts as the experts.: Guide books and articles in travel publications consistently rank Brazil Nuts as the experts. Corporate Meetings & Incentives: We handle more corporate events in Brazil than any other US travel company. From seminars for top management in Sao Paulo to an incentive program for 250 salespeople in the Amazon, we do it right.: We handle more corporate events in Brazil than any other US travel company. From seminars for top management in Sao Paulo to an incentive program for 250 salespeople in the Amazon, we do it right. Congresses & Trade Shows: Brazil Nuts has been a part of many major congresses or events in Brazil over the last three years, responsible for arranging rooms blocks, social events and PCO functions for thousands of demanding clients from around the world.: Brazil Nuts has been a part of many major congresses or events in Brazil over the last three years, responsible for arranging rooms blocks, social events and PCO functions for thousands of demanding clients from around the world. Products We pride ourselves in providing the most authentic and innovated programs to our clients. Although we specialize in travel to every corner of Brazil, our most popular destinations are: Rio De Janeiro Salvador da Bahia Amazon Iguassu Falls Pantanal Fortaleza
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