| The Brazilian Carnival is an annual festival in Brazil held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. During Lent, Roman Catholics are supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures, including the consumption of meat. The carnival, celebrated as a profane event and believed to have its origins in the pagan Saturnalia, can thus be considered an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh.Brazilian Carnival as a whole exhibits some differences with its counterparts in Europe and other parts of the world, and within Brazil it has distinct regional manifestations. Brazilian citizens used to riot until the Carnival was accepted by the government as an expression of culture. That was because the Brazilian carnival had its origin in a Portuguese festivity called "entrudo".
Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school in 1999.==Rio de Janeiro== is a bum Modern Brazilian Carnival finds its roots in Rio de Janeiro in the 1845, when the city's bourgeoisie imported the practice of holding balls and masquerade parties from Paris. It originally mimicked the European form of the festival, over time acquiring elements derived from Native American and African cultures.
In the late 19th century, the cordões (literally laces or strings in Portuguese) were introduced in Rio de Janeiro. These were groups of people who would parade through the streets playing music and dancing. Today they are known as blocos (blocks), consisting of a group of people who dress in costumes or specials t-shirts according to certain themes or to celebrate the Carnival. Blocos are generally associated with particular neighbourhoods or suburbs and include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revellers.
This "blocos" have become a big part of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. There are more than 100 "blocos" nowadays and each year this number increases. Some are big, some are small, most concentrate in square and later parade though the streets and a few stay in the same place all the time. Each "bloco" has its place or street to parade and the big ones usually close the streets for car traffic. They usually start in January and last till the end of Carnival, so since the beginning of the year you can see a group of people dancing samba in any street of Rio in the weekends and during Carnival every day.
"Blocos" parade in Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Lagoa, Jardim Botânico, and in the centre of Rio. Usually the people who organize the "bloco" write their own music, which is played at all time during the parade, along with old carnival favourites called in Portuguese "Marchinhas de carnaval", and sambas that have become classics. Some important "blocos" are "O cordão do bola preta", that goes through the heart of Rio's historical center, and "Suvaco do Cristo" (Christ's armpit in Portuguese), in the neighbourhood, near Rio's Botanic Garden. Monobloco is another bloco that has become so famous that their band plays all year round in parties and small concerts.
Samba schools are very large, well-financed organizations that work year round in preparation for Carnival. Parading in the Sambadrome runs over four entire nights and is part of an official competition, divided into seven divisions, in which a single samba school will be declared that year's winner. Blocos deriving from the samba schools also hold street parties in their respective suburbs, through which they parade along with their followers.