"We play, not for money, but to celebrate happiness. Our carnival is a street carnival. It is for everyone, not just for those with money." ― Carlinhos Brown
The carnival has taken its roots from the ancient Greek spring festival honoring Dionysus, the god of wine. The Romans adopted the festival, which the Roman Catholic Church changed to suit its own religious needs. The Brazilian Carnival is an annual festival, celebrated for four days preceding the Ash Wednesday.
It has a religious flavor, as it marks the beginning of the fasting days of Lent. Carnival literally means to remove meat, one of the important observances to be followed during Lent, while practicing repentance to honor the death and resurrection of Christ.
The Carnival is celebrated on different scales all over Brazil. A lot of time and effort is involved in its preparation. Each place has its own distinct style. Among the many interesting aspects of the it, King Momos deserves a mention. He is considered as the King of Carnivals and signifies the beginning of the festivity.
The music and dance of the Bahia parade are heavily influenced by the African heritage. It's held in the city of Salvador, also known as the Capital of Happiness. Their parades combine the samba and reggae rhythm, using giant speakers mounted on a truck and a platform for the artist to perform, called trio-elétrico.
This Carnival is held at Pátio de São in Recife, Brazil, and is unique in many aspects. They do not have any competitions in this parade, the groups instead perform side by side. The Galo da Madrugada is the biggest carnival parade in the world. Their dance style is acrobatic, with frequent arm and leg movements. The rhythms used are the frevo and maracatu.
Minas Gerais Style
The Carnival is influenced by the Rio de Janeiro and Bahia styles. It fuses the themes and adds to it its own unique music of drums and bands. The important carnival parades in Minas Gerais are mainly held in the historic cities of Ouro Preto, Mariana, and Diamantina.