1. White clothing ruled the 1930s to help with high temperatures and lower costs.
2. During the 1950s, costumes began getting smaller, men went without shirts…
…and women opted for bikinis:
3. In the ’80s the Sambodromo was built, helping to organize Carnival a bit more:
It was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and has capacity for 90,000 spectators.
4. But that didn’t stop the street “blocos” from taking place.
“Blocos” are organized groups of people that go out and parade, dance and party.
5. Even to this day:
Revellers kiss during celebrations with Sergeant Pepper’s Carnival block.
6. When it comes to floats, the bigger they are, the better.
7. Sexy does NOT mean naked:
Nudity is penalized in the Sambodromo, so although costumes have been getting smaller, you won’t be seeing full nudity from the samba-goers.
9. There’s a lot of coordination before the party actually starts:
Costumes have to be ready, everyone needs to know their escola’s song, people need to know where to go, and so on.
10. The industry behind carnival is HUGE for the country:
In 2010, Rio received 800,000 visitors during Carnival, which represents a 950-million-real industry for the city.
The country stops during the week of Carnival except for tourism services (hotels, cabs, bars) and samba schools, which work pretty much until the last minute so they can have the best costumes.
11. Every escola has a flag, and the couple that presents it always have the most elaborate and elegant costumes:
12. It’s an honor to dance in front of the bateria:
13. And you can find both celebrities and incredible bodies leading the band:
14. The bahianas are a group of elderly ladies whose role is to turn in circles throughout the parade.
Some have to be helped as they get dizzy or fall over.
15. Everyone partakes in the parades, regardless of age or gender.
16. The Globeleza is a phenomenon:
Valéria Valenssa was the Globeleza — the Carnival muse for Brazilian TV channel Globo — for 14 years.
17. Who said men can’t show skin?
It is common for men to cross-dress, go all out on the glitter, and wear fake boobs just for fun.
18. Everyone is a star… Yes, including the guys that clean the Sambodromo.
Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.
19. And the basic premise is that everyone has to have fun:
Even supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
20. During Carnival, Rio hosts one of the biggest and best-known gay balls:
21. And there’s even a place for dogs to show off their little costumes:
22. Even if you try to avoid Carnival, you probably won’t be able to:
Unless, of course, you take a vacation outside the country.