The Greatest Party on Earth
Forty-six days before Easter, Rio de Janeiro raises the curtain on the biggest party on earth. Festivities are intense, day and night. In 2011, the opening ceremony alone saw over a million attendees.

The most famous holiday in Brazil, the nearly week-long celebration has spread through coastal cities since the 1600s, accounting for almost 70 percent of the country’s tourism. Beer spills over during the festivities as well; the celebration accounts for 80% of the annual consumption of alcohol. More recently, the celebration has even spread into other European countries.

At the center of it all is Rio. Carnival gives a new meaning to block party, with each neighborhood hosting its own parades and parties featuring Blocos, a group dressed in costumes or themed shirts, singing classic marchinhas and samba beats. Many groups create their own music for each year’s festivities. The performances incorporate European themes, African elements, and even Native American influences.

Carnival Sunday and Monday features The Parade—the culmination of Carnival and the central attraction. Color, light, and a cacophony of sound roll through the streets like electronic pyramids, featuring an army of performers in striking costume.

Samba schools practice year-round to prepare for the performance in the Sambadrome, which lasts four nights, ending with finalists on Sunday and a victory parade for winning schools on Monday.

The world’s largest block party and one of the grandest parades of color and light the world over, this is one celebration not to be missed.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rating 94.14 
Rank [category] 2 
Rank [overall] 28 
"The world's biggest and best celebration!"

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