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Brazilian Carnival Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 Brazilian Carnival
  • 0:56 History of Carnival
  • 1:36 Traditional Events
  • 1:54 Care to Samba?
  • 2:49 Costumes
  • 3:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Carnival is a huge celebration in Brazil and around the world. In this lesson, learn about the costumes, traditions, foods, and dancing that happen in Brazil during Carnival.

Brazilian Carnival

Guess what? You're invited to one of the biggest parties in the world! Are you excited? Come on, let's go to Brazil and experience the festival of Carnival. This party is a way of living it up and having fun before the Christian period of Lent. This period occurs at different times during the year, but it usually begins in late February or early March and lasts until Easter.

During Lent, Christians give up things like fattening foods and meat in order to be healthy and humble in preparation for Easter. Carnival usually begins on a Friday and lasts five days until a day called Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Lent starts. Lent lasts for 40 days, which is a long time to give up some of your favorite things. So, during Carnival, it's time to enjoy those things one last time!

History of Carnival

Early origins of Carnival began in the 1700s, when those who immigrated to Brazil from Portugal celebrated a festival called Entrudo. A little over 100 years later, masquerades were held, where people would dance and cover their faces with fancy decorated masks.

Now Carnival festivals are held all over the world, including France and the United States. Sometimes the party preparations begin months earlier than Lent as some people begin celebrating in December! In Brazil, the biggest party city is Rio de Janeiro. Millions of people travel from all over the world to experience Carnival in Rio.

Traditional Events

It is impossible to escape the party in Brazil for Carnival. That's because the party is held everywhere, especially in the city streets! Food can be found at every corner, and people enjoy dancing to loud music. There are parades with elaborate floats, and people work on these floats for months before the party even begins.

Care to Samba?

When you attend a Carnival, you will hear about samba everywhere! So, what exactly is it? Samba is a type of music that was brought to Brazil from Africa in the early 1900s. Brazilians loved the rhythmic beat of samba because it was great dancing music. Samba music is created with stringed instruments like guitars and small Brazilian drums called tamborims.

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