Carnival is one of the most opulent and spectacular celebrations found anywhere in the world. Every year, Carnival takes place in and around Rio de Janeiro (or Rio), Brazil. If you want to make it to Carnival this year (which, if you can, you should), you’ll have to act quickly.
This year, Carnival falls from February 13 to February 18. You’ll need a visa to travel to Brazil, so pack your dancing shoes and begin your visa application today.
Brazil Carnival is a celebration with roots going back to 1723. In many ways, it is a religious celebration. Carnival begins on the Friday before the first day of Lent, which is Ash Wednesday. The day right before Ash Wednesday is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. Lent is a time in the Christian calendar when people are supposed to reflect on their relationship with God and deprive themselves of earthly pleasures. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last chance to indulge in those pleasures before Lent begins. Thus, it’s traditional to have a party. Here in America, our biggest Mardi Gras celebration happens in New Orleans. In Brazil, this celebration is taken to an entirely different level.
Carnival in Rio is a five day celebration that focuses on community, dance, and music. Intricate costumes, fabulous floats, community parades, and glamorous balls take center stage. And at the middle of everything is samba. Samba is a Brazilian dance with African influences, and you can find people who dance sambas in every nook and cranny of Brazil. People in different neighborhoods form what are known as samba schools, and during Carnival, all of the various schools compete against each other. Different schools will pit their best dancers against each other, they’ll spend months building the best parade floats, and they’ll craft brightly colored costumes for the festivities.
Taking part in Carnival in Brazil is like nothing else. Make sure you’re ready to partake in the fun by getting your Brazil visas in order now. Currently, a tourist visa to Brazil costs $160, and it should last for ten years. You’ll need to fill out Brazil’s application form, have a valid US passport, proof of your travel itinerary, and a passport photo. Contact the team here at Swift anytime to learn more or to get an expedited visa. We currently offer Brazil visas in three to five business days
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.