Banking on a spiritually-motivated theme about having faith this year, Mocidade hopes to regain the championship it last won in 2009. At its rehearsal, adventurous types can follow the route of the practicing drummers as they march around the Limão neighbourhood and back to the home base for the rest of the party.
The basics The rehearsals are a chance for anyone planning to parade to learn that year’s chosen song (samba-enredo), for the drummers to master their rhythms, for the dancers to get in step, and for the neighbourhoods to start the celebrations. But don’t let the term ‘rehearsal’ confuse you – a samba school ensaio is as much a party as a chance for the school to practice, and everyone is welcome for a cover fee. They can be crowded, sometimes slightly chaotic events, so take care to work out beforehand how you’re getting home, and leave valuables behind.