Carnival, or Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of the world’s biggest parties. This week we speak with Joel Ward from Freedonia Post about his experiences learning to samba and enjoying a few drinks in Rio.

To listen, hit play below or look for episode 226 in iTunes:

The basis of carnival

A lot of people think Carnival only happens in Rio, but that’s not true. The whole thing is rooted in the Catholic religious calendar — this is the beginning of the Lent period of fasting, and if you’re going to fast for 40 days, you might as well party like anything to kick it off, right?

Carnival is actually an international event… everywhere that Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity has a significant cultural influence, you get a carnival or a related celebration.

Joel’s experience

During this interview, Joel talks about his preparation, how he joined a samba school and took part in the massive Samba competition, and some of the hijinks he got up to in the organised and the unofficial parts of Carnival. He also shared some travel tips, and these on-the-ground photos…

Learn more about travel in Brazil

…on our Brazil travel page. And make sure you hit play to hear about Joel’s experiences of carnival:

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