Sunday 2 October 2011


Our trip to Brazil came about because of an irresistible invitation. Our mate Mick, who was living in Rio with his beautiful Brazilian wife Kelly, invited us to Rio to take part in Carnival.

That’s right – we were in Carnival.

We can still hardly believe this happened.


Rio’s Carnival is the world’s biggest carnival and is the competition of the top 14 samba clubs of Rio. It's held immediately before lent every year, usually in February or March. Each of the samba clubs, of around 3000 people each (you read right, 3000 people in each club x 14!) gets it’s chance to parade down the length of the 1km sambadrome to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of Brazilians and on-lookers. The best club is named the champion.

Each club gets 90 minutes to parade. First the 3000 odd dancers, dripping in the most incredible handmade costumes dance, march and sing their way down the sambadrome. Behind all of the dancers is the drummers and the band – around 400 Brazilian musicians playing the club’s song, an crazily good mix of drums and percussion. The idea is that they spur the dancers forward. Motivating the drummers is the queen of the club, or drum queen, the Rainha de Bateria. Everyone knows this girl. She’s the one you’ll see in the newspapers, stunningly beautiful, with the most amazing body and in the tiniest of sequined outfits. She leads the drummers and the dancers forward.

Incredibly, we got to be a part of this. Kelly, who belongs to the club Mocidade Indepente, invited us to take part as long as we could learn the Portuguese song and send in our measurements. The heat, the excitement was beyond belief. 35 degrees, 1am in the morning dancing with thousands and thousands of others to Mocidade Indepente’s song. It was one of the most intense, happy and overwhelming experiences we’ve ever had.

If you can't make it to Carnival, it's no problemo, every street, every bar in Rio is full of music, colour and excitement for 4 or 5 days straight.

Costume mayhem on the street of Ipanema...

Mick and I
Kelly in Carnival!


A friend took this from the stands... we are in this group bottom left!

Our Rainha de Bateria!

No comments:

Post a Comment