Famous throughout the world, Carnival in Brazil originated from the Potuguese entrudo, a street game in which people would throw water, flour, eggs, and other.
Entrudo took place just before Lent, the christian period of fasting and penitence, and thus symbolized a time to let loose.
Brought to Brazil in the 17th century, the entrudo was influenced by the Carnivals of Italy and France beginning in the nineteenth century, when masks, outfits, and personalities such as Colombina, Pierrot and Rei Momo became a part of the Brazilian festivities.
Street bands and parades with floats also began to gain popularity in all regions of Brazil. The musical repertoire has grown year after year with new rhythms, starting with the marchinhas (upbeat march tunes).
In 1928 the first escola de samba (‘Deixa Falar’) was formed in Rio de Janeiro.
The custom of samba schools spread to other cities, but the tradition of the street carnival did not disappear; frevo and maracatu beats are the staple in Recife and Olinda, and Salvador has street bands and musical floats.