Rio de Janeiro Annual Events

Rio de Janeiro has festivities taking place all through the year including concerts, festivals, fairs and sporting events. The list below presents an overview of the major events in the Rio de Janeiro area.

New Year’s
Ranked among the world’s biggest extravaganzas, Rio stages musical shows in several districts to liven up festivities. On Copacabana Beach, celebrants dress in white to bid farewell to a year that is ending and toast arrival of a new one. Hotels, clubs and restaurants present varied party options with diverse menus and tropical buffets. Fireworks illuminate the sky at midnight.
Carnival in Rio
Famed worldwide, Carnival in Rio de Janerio reigns as the benchmark for comparisons among carnival celebrations worldwide. Activities include samba schools parading on the Avenida Rio Branco and those at the Sambodrome. Call +44 (0) 20 7499 0877 for more information.
Rio Circuit
This cycling tournament covers a stretch of coast and mountains, with the start in Niteroi and the finish line in Rio De Janeiro. Call (21) 2502-1616 for more information.
Holy Week
Sometimes starting in March, Holy Week observances include Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Resurrection Sunday. Call (21) 2240-2669 for more information.
World Dog Show
National and international exhibitors of different breeds compare notes and compete. Call (21) 2442-1300 for more information.
Rio Boat Show
The Brazilian nautical industry focuses on increasing sales and raising awareness. Call (0) 2205-6716 for more information.
Labor Day
Labor Day honors those who through their work contribute to well-being of the city and nation, with various official occasions and sporting events.
Changing of the Guard
The first Sunday of every month brings observances at the National Monument to the Dead of World War II highlighting Army, Navy and Air Force ceremonies. A marine band accompanies. Call (21) 2240-1283 for more information.
Victory Day
On this day, military ceremonies commemorate the Allied Victory of World War II, and are presided over by the President of the Republic.
June Bonfire Festival
Part of Brazilian folklore, June bonfire festivals occur at squares, clubs, schools and churches with a mock country wedding by light of bonfires. These festivals center on feasts of St. Anthony (June 13), St. John (June 24) and St. Peter (June 29).
World Environment Day
June 5 marks a day of discussions and exhibitions focusing on environmental issues. Call (0) 2404-0307 for more information.
Rio de Janeiro Marathon
Race starts early for a relatively flat route through neighborhoods to accompaniment of cheering crowds. A main challenge for runners is warm, humid weather. Call (21) 2222-0131 for more information.
Fireman’s Day
Ceremonies celebrate the anniversary of the Rio de Janeiro Military Fire Brigade on July 2, 1856.
Rio Sport Show
The fair shows off equipment and products for academy owners, fitness entrepreneurs, clubs and workout devotees. Call (0) 2537-1547 for more information.
Folklore Day
Diversity of legends, myths and beliefs of folklore are celebrated on a day – typically Aug. 22 -- stemming from when William John Thoms (1803-1885) published an article entitled “Folk-Lore”.
Soldier’s Day
On Aug. 25, Soldier’s Day ceremonies and events include contests, a weapons exhibition and armored cars. Call (21) 2442-1300 for more information.
Brazil’s Independence Day
On Sept. 9, civic, cultural and sporting events take place throughout the nation to mark Brazil’s independence.
Press Day
Sept. 10 honors Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and members of the press all over Brazil.
Tree Day
On Sept. 21, Tree Day is celebrated to disseminate information on florist conservation. Students plant seeds throughout Rio while various organizations offer lectures on the topic.
First Day of Spring
With arrival of Spring, Rio de Janeiro gains added color with parks, squares, and gardens abloom amid a joyful atmosphere.
Children’s Day
Apart from Children’s Day on Oct. 12, Rio offers a variety of entertaining attractions for children throughout October.
Pilot’s Day
The day honors history’s first flight in Paris on Oct. 23, 1906 by Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont.
Celtic folklore takes on a Brazilian beat at this feast, with pumpkin lanterns, ghosts and horrors. Halloween is rooted in beliefs of Celts of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, celebrating the sun god and Samhain, the lord of death. Bonfires were lit to scare away evil spirits bringing disease to herds.
Culture & Science Day
Commemorating the birth of Brazilian statesman Rui Barbosa, Nov. 5 includes cultural events throughout the city and an exhibit at the Casa de Rui Barbosa Museum. Call (21) 2537-0036 for more information.
Proclamation of the Brazilian Republic
Civil and military ceremonies mark the Declaration of the Brazilian Republic. The Republic Museum’s guided tour follows chronology of the Republic, with particular attention to Nov. 15. Call (21) 2285-6350 for more information.
Flag Day
The hymn to glorify the Brazilian flag by composer Francisco Braga with lyrics by Olavo Bilac was first performed in 1907. Nov. 19 was set aside as Flag Day, hailing national heroes striving to maintain Brazil’s sovereignty. Civic and military ceremonies take place at Copacabana Fort, Monument to the Dead of World War II, Duque de Caxias Palace, and in schools and squares.
Christmas in Rio
While maintaining universal themes, Christmas in Rio means tropical trees are decorated with lights and adornments as substitutes for pine trees used elsewhere. Santa Claus wears a traditional red suit, and nativity scenes are displayed in churches.