They say you are not a real sambista until you played at least one proper carnival. Now it is a good question what is a “proper” carnival outside of Brazil. I’ve never been to Brazil, so I can’t really say. But I suppose that in this country, Luton Carnival (“Britain’s biggest one-day carnival”) comes as close to the Brazilian standard as one can get.
(Yes there’s also Notting Hill Carnival. My most vivid memories of that event are those of enormous slowly moving crowd. I did not see much of the procession but had a very good view of horseback police. And that was on a “family-friendly” day!)
Back to Luton. Not the prettiest town in England I am afraid but totally worth visiting for a carnival! Today, Arco Iris took part in the carnival procession. That means, three hours of (almost) uninterrupted drumming! We even had some promised “sunny intervals”, for a few seconds each.
Next time we go to the carnival like this, we definitely need costumes sexier than Arco T-shirts and hoodies. And a lot of samba dancers.