I just completed a trip to Brazil, where a friend and I drove mostly through the Sao Paulo area. I’ll have lots more to post about my trip. We had intentionally come down during the time of Carnaval, in order to see all the festivities. Not only did we get to see them, but we actually got to march in the official Carnival Parade in Sao Paulo!
This was one of those “friend of a friend of a friend…” sort of things. One of the guys was a leader in one of the “Samba Schools” in Sao Paulo and told us about an opportunity to sit in the stands for the march of thousands of people during the parade. The Samba Schools are dancing schools or clubs that work all year to get ready for Carnival, including over time top costumes and truly amazing floats.
So when an opportunity came up not just to attend the parade but to fill some unused spots and actually march in the parade, my friend and I knew we had to jump on the once in a lifetime opportunity.
We got to march through a short of stadium, called the Sambodromo, with a special song, specific to my “School” playing over and over again. I do not speak any Portuguese, and did not know the dance steps coming in, so I did my best to keep up with the crowd and mostly follow the people next to me.
Overall there are a few things I feel will absolutely stand out when I look back at my year of traveling the world. I’m pretty sure taking part in an official Carnaval parade will be one of them.