Although there are festivals taking place all year-round in Brazil, the country's most famous event is Carnaval, beginning at midnight on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and lasting for five days. It is celebrated all over Brazil and there are more authentic versions than the glitzy tourist drawcard held in Rio, but Rio's is a fantastic spectacle nonetheless. In the sambÃ³dromo, a tiered street designed for samba parades, the Brazilians harness sweat, noise and mayhem as the 16 top samba schools each have their hour of glory.
The four-day Carnival commences on the following dates: March 1 2003; Feb 21 2004; Feb 5 2005.
Copyright 2003 Lonely Planet Publications , all rights reserved, used with permission