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Carnival 2025 and 2026

The Carnival holiday in Brazil comes each year in February or March, as in many other predominantly Roman Catholic countries. The date varies, but it always immediately precedes Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of a 40-day Lenten fast leading up to Easter.

20253 MarMonCarnival *
4 MarTueCarnival *
202616 FebMonCarnival *
17 FebTueCarnival *
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

Note: Carnival is an optional holiday, known as Ponto facultativos.

The Carnival event in Rio de Janeiro is the largest in the world. Millions attend each year, and hundreds of thousands travel to Rio from abroad to take part in the festivities. The largest parades are meant to be watched and televised. Others allow anyone to join in. Still others have official “paraders” but allow and encourage interaction with bystanders.

While the idea of Carnival came to Brazil through its Portuguese colonisers, the season now incorporates all manner of cultural traditions existing in this very diverse country. This includes European, African, and Amerindian. The costumes worn in the numerous parades and contests held in Brazilian cities for Carnival need not be religious or have any real connection to the meaning of the holiday. It can be anything.

Previous Years

202412 FebMonCarnival *
13 FebTueCarnival *
202320 FebMonCarnival *
21 FebTueCarnival *