Carnaval, as spelled in Portuguese, is a 4-day celebration. It starts on Saturday, and ends on Fat Tuesday,
The Sambodrome is the "stadium" of samba. It consists of the Parading Avenue (the samba runway) and several independent concrete structures for the spectators (the bleachers) both sides along the Parading Avenue.
The Sambodromo was designed by Brazil's world-famous architect, the modernist Oscar Niemeyer. It was purpose-built for the Samba Parade and was inaugurated in 1984.
Made of concrete, it seems a bit dated for today's post-modern eyes, but it is transformed and comes to life during Carnival. It becomes truly magnificent and overpowering, lit up with special effects on Samba Parade nights, filled with thousands of cheering spectators and surrounded by many other thousands who could not get in.
Many people think of it as the greatest show on earth.
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