Brief history on Carnival:
The Brazilian carnival (Carnaval, in Portuguese) is an annual celebration held 40 days before Easter and marking the beginning of Lent. Rio de Janeiro has many Carnival choices, including the famous Samba school (Escolas de Samba) parades in the sambódromo exhibition centre and the popular blocos de carnaval, which parade in almost every corner of the city. The most famous ones are:
- Cordão do Bola Preta: Parades in the centre of the city. It is one of the most traditional carnavals. In 2006, it gathered 200,000 people in one day.
- Suvaco do Cristo: Band that parades in the Botanic Garden, directly below the Redeemer statue's arm. The name, in English, translates as 'Christ's armpit', and was chosen for that reason.
- Carmelitas: Band that was supposedly created by nuns, but in fact it is just a theme chosen by the band. It parades in the hills of Santa Teresa, which have very nice views.
- Simpatia é Quase Amor: One of the most popular parades in Ipanema. Translates as 'Friendliness is almost love'.