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The highlight of Rio Carnival is undoubtedly the Rio Carnival Parade called the Samba Parade or Samba Schools Parade, a totally unique event in the world.
The Rio Samba Parade is the review of a fierce competition between the Rio samba schools. The judges and spectators watch the principal parades in the Sambodromo which was especially built for this event.
The Samba Parade is something everybody should experience at least once in their life. The event is broadcast live to several countries. Watching on TV is comfortable but not close to as much fun as being there. Definitely mingle with the crowds and watch the Brazilians and Cariocas (the people of Rio). For the best and full blown experience, you can even march with a samba school.
The Rio Samba Parade is very distinctive from all other street parades held at some other places in the world. It started as street festivities with groups of people parading through the streets playing music and dancing. The Carnival parades in Rio developed into something special, a competition between the samba schools. The main competition was originally held downtown. Until the mid-1980s, bleachers for the spectators were simply assembled and disassembled every year on Av. Presidente Vargas, one of Rio's major arteries. Then the principal parades were moved to the Sambodromo, specially built for this event.
Preparation for the Samba Parade starts months in advance, as each samba school mobilizes thousands of supporters who will create the various parts of the school's display. First, the theme of the year is chosen. Then the school's samba song of the year is selected through competition, while the school's Carnival Designer creates the costumes and the floats. When ready, the sketches move into production. By December the rehearsals begin. In time for Christmas, the schools' annual samba songs are recorded and released to the record shops.
The Rio Samba Parade is not a street happening where people move chaotically about as they like, but more of a highly orchestrated show of vast proportions. Every parader has a specific role and place according to his costume in a particular wing, of a particular section of the samba school he/she is parading in support of.
Each year each school chooses a different theme for the Samba Parade. It can be a celebration of a particular period, or, of famous figures of Brazilian history. It may highlight a special event or speak of anything that might move the spirit and imagination; like a special animal, or one of the elements; water or fire, etc. The school has to illustrate the chosen theme through all its work:
- the samba tunes, which are especially written for that year
- the richly decorated floats and costumes of their 3,000 to 5,000 parading members designed by the school's Carnival Designer (the so called Carnavalesco).
The parade of every school is highly organized and designed. They line up in a unique way to present their pageant. The schools are divided into a number of sections and each section has a number of wings of about 100 people wearing the same costume. Sometimes even 2 wings (app. 200 people) have the same costume. You will find more details about the role and name of some special sections of the Parade on the other side of this page.
In between the wings, there are about 8 Carnival floats, separating the sections. Most of them are pushed along by men from the School's community but some are motorized and have mechanical parts. The floats carry special guests along with some young and mesmerizing samba dancers in very elaborate, awe-inspiring costume creations.The costumes are extremely imaginative, colorful, elaborate and detailed. They are truly original, designed and made from scratch each year. They have mirrors, feathers, metallic cloth, silk and sometimes gems or coins. These costumes take months to make. The work starts roughly 8 months in advance.
Each samba school has its own distinctive colors (of its flag) and costume style. The color scheme is reflected in many parts of their parade. The biggest and most elaborate costumes are worn by the main floatees (destaques), members chosen with honor by the samba schools to wear these special costumes.
Even though complete nudity is not officially allowed, sometimes floats carry topless or almost-naked beauties, male and female, wearing only body paint, lots of glitter and a smile.
You may think of the whole event as a tropical opera or rather like several operas happening on one night. It is beautiful to watch and the experience for the paraders themselves is so intense that the memories last for a lifetime.
Some of our clients have recently asked us about the meal basis in the hotels we offer.
When you run a search on Select-a-room.com we list the inclusions for each hotel.
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Note: a small number of hotels in Russia and Ukraine charge a small booking fee - also specified when you book.
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We are pleased to advise that we have added a new tool on our Select-a-room.com hotel home-pages to translate descriptions into over 50 new languages - we hope it helps our customers to find the right hotel!
We are delighted to advise that we have added North American phone and live chat support to suit North American working hours! Use our contact number, our Skype link - or our live chat for instant support! Welcome to Select-a-room.com in the USA and our world of low-cost hotels!
We are delighted to introduce 4 star Hotel Deville in Porto Alegre, Brazil - a new destination for Select-a-room.com. Welcome to Hotel Deville!
We are pelased to advise that we have added a range of hotels in Curtiba, Brazil for our guests - it's the first time we have feagtured Curtiba - and with our great prices, we are sure it will sell well!
We are delighted to add the distinguished JCB credit card to our range of payment options on Select-a-Room.com - specifically for our Japanese customers booking our 40,000 discount hotels from Tokyo to 124 countries worldwide! We have added Japanese Yen as a payment option and hope that this helps to support our Japanese customers.
Many clients have asked us for the ability to pay in their own local currencies for our 40,000 discount hotel deals - so in order to assist, we have recently added a range of new currencies for your convenience. It is now possible to book and pay in Russian Roubles, Japanese Yen, Swiss Francs and Norwegian Krone as well as Sterling, Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar - we hope this helps!
Due to increasing requests from our customers and for easier accounting, we are pleased to advise that it is now possible to book discount hotels online in the following newly-added currencies: Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar and New Zealand Dollar, in addition to US dollar, Euro and Sterling - more currencies to follow shortly, including Russian Rouble, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Swedish and Norwegian Krone...! Lower hotel prices worldwide and wider payment options from Select-a-room.com !
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We have been monitoring customer comments in relation to currency of payment on Select-a-Room.com for our range of worldwide discount hotels - and are pleased to advise that we will shortly introduce and accept payments in Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Indian Rupee and Russian Rouble. Payments in US dollar, Sterling and Euro continue as usual - and of course, we can charge cards that are issued in any other curreccy, with the charge to your account showing on your statement in your own currency.
We continue to monitor client requests and will introduce further currencies as required. More news soon!
In many major cities around the world, we have been asked to provide restricted searches for hotels in particular areas - and we understand this, so we have added a new search filter in many locations to provide a search by region - "Search an area" is the title - and for cities such as Paris and London, hotels are listed by their area (or you can search for all hotels as well!). We hope that this helps your selection!