Rio Carnival, an experience like no other
There is no party on earth quite like Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The biggest, boldest and brightest events in the Brazilian calendar, the Carnival is both rooted in European pagan traditions and Catholicism. Originally a food festival, this was the time when people would take their last opportunity to gorge before the beginning of Lent, traditionally a time of abstinence and fasting in the Catholic Church. The main Carnival events take placeat the Sambadrome, whichis an open-air venue. The space is like an enormous, flamboyant runway flanked on either side by stadium seating from which spectators watch the extravagant parades go by. Huge floats with various themes amble along, with thousands of visitors on either side, celebrating, dancing and cheering in the stands.