Brazil: Samba Schools Start Parading In Rio, São Paulo


Samba schools are starting to compete with their parades for this year’s Carnival on Friday (Feb. 17).

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro’s Sambódromo, on Marquês de Sapucaí avenue, is hosting the parades under the Gold Series, tasked with the official opening of Carnival, today and tomorrow.

Among the traditional schools expected to perform are União da Ilha, São Clemente, Estácio de Sá, and Império da Tijuca. Competition will be fierce: 15 schools will vie to join the Special Group, formed by city’s highest-ranking schools, next year.

The league in charge of the Gold Series estimates an average attendance of 120 thousand people a day, including spectators in stands and boxes, parade participants, and Carnival professionals.

São Paulo

On the first day of shows this year in São Paulo, samba lovers will hear songs in honor of black resistance, indigenous people, women, and samba itself. The first night of the city’s Special Group will be held at the Anhembi sambadrome.

The first school to parade is Independente Tricolor, starting at 11:15 pm. This year’s song alludes to the Greek victory over the Trojans and to the conquest of territories, in reference to the school’s return to the Special Group in 2023.


Agência Brasil (ABr) is the national public news agency, run by the Brazilian government. It is a part of the public media corporation Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), created in 2007 to unite two government media enterprises Radiobrás and TVE (Televisão Educativa).

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