Manuel Rodriguez, Writer

Every year between February 25th and March 5th, there is the international celebration of Carnivàle that happens around the world. Carnivàle originally comes from the phrase “Farewell to Meat” signifying its close attachment to the Lenten season drawing near. Although Carnivàle is typically associated with Brazil as it is home to the grandest festivities, other countries immerse themselves in the festive spirit that comes with Carnivàle.

Brazil’s Carnivàle has been influenced by its many ethnicities that shape the diversity of the country. Samba music, associated with African culture is a beating pulse within the infamous Carnivàle in Brazil. Carnivàle uses the African tradition of creating masks through natural objects such as feathers. When Carnivàle was first being created, there was the introduction of Samba schools that worked to perfect their own dance to perform for the festival.  African music and dance is a key component of how Samba schools express themselves during the festival. Samba schools develop a theme for the upcoming Carnivàle and it becomes a basis of their dance routines and choice of music. Carnivàle is where different Samba schools face one another for the title of Champion through their flamboyant costumes and floats accompanied by music and dance. All of which are judged altogether when deciding on which school deserves the title of champion.

Each Samba school depicts their own message they want to represent as this year’s Carnivàle demonstrated Indigenous people and political figures. Marielle Franco was shown on a float representing Brazil’s political figures as Franco was a known activist who was shot last year. A float with Indigenous people represented a part of a culture that is often overlooked and not a main focal point when talking about the past. This allowed both Brazilians and foreigners the chance to realize who they descend from and who ultimately paid the price for the nation that we live in today. As Carnivàle is a link between the present and the past allowing people to become immersed within their own roots and culture that aren’t represented enough. While having a good time dancing and seeing the magnificent floats and parades and the amount of time and effort that was made to make Carnivàle happen. Carnivàle is a one of a kind festival  and it will always have a special attachment to those whose whole lives are dedicated to it and as well as those merely observing a new culture.