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Brazil Carnaval Dates & Public Holidays

When planning your trip to Brazil it is important to consider the dates of the public holidays in the country. These weekends are very busy periods with lots of Brazilians travelling especially, as well as visiting foreigners. Hotels can have packages of 3 or more nights for any public holiday, and usually even more for the New Year and Carnaval periods. This applies to any tourist destination in Brazil, not just Rio de Janeiro. This means that you must stay in one place during these periods, travelling in the middle of any holiday period is not recommended unless of course you don't mind paying for two separate accommodation packages. Please contact us if you have any doubts about the effect that this may have on your plans.

Carnaval is the busiest period of the year in the whole Brazil including Rio de Janeiro, with the Monday and Tuesday as public holidays. Most hotels will insist on stays of 4 or 5 nights between the Friday and the Wednesday. In places where the Carnaval celebrations continue throughout the whole week, such as Salvador and Olinda, then you may need to stay even longer! Carnaval package dates are usually fixed.

The Rio de Janeiro Street Carnavals take place on the Carnaval weekend and also on the two weekends before.

The Rio de Janeiro Carnaval Champions Parade takes place on the following Saturday.  

Carnaval Dates for Rio de Janeiro & Brazil:
Year From the Friday To the Wednesday
2017 24 February 1 March
2018 9 February 14 February
2019 1 March 6 March
2020 21 February 26 February
2021 12 February 17 February
2022 25 February 1 March

Easter Dates: Friday is usually the only public holiday in Brazil for Easter, with hotels having packages of 2 or 3 nights.   
Year From Easter Friday To Easter Sunday
2017 14 April 16 April
2018 30 March  1 April
2019 19 April 21 April
2020 10 April 12 April
2021 2 April 4 April
2022 15 April 17 April
2023 7 April 9 April

Other Public Holiday Dates for Brazil:

The hotel package period depends upon which day the holiday falls. For Friday or Monday being the day of the holiday, there is usually a 2 night minimum stay. For Tuesday or Thursday, the weekend extends for 3 nights. For Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday, there often is no minimum requirement at all!
Holiday Date Name 2017 2018
1 January New Year (Reveillon) Sunday - 1 Day Holiday* Monday - 1 Day Holiday*
21 April Tiradentes Day Friday - 2 or 3 Nights Saturday - 2 Nights
1 May Labour Day Monday - 2 or 3 Nights Tuesday - 3 Nights
7 September Independence Day Thursday - 3 Nights Friday - 2 or 3 Nights
12 October Nossa Senhora Aparecida Thursday - 3 Nights Friday - 2 or 3 Nights
2 November Finados Thursday - 3 Nights Friday - 2 or 3 Nights
15 November Proclamation of the Republic Wednesday - No Package Thursday - 3 Nights
25 December Christmas (Natal) Monday - 1 Day Holiday** Tuesday - 1 Day Holiday**
*New Year Holiday Dates: usually 3 to 5 nights but arrival and departure dates are often flexible, from 28, 29 or 30 December to 1, 2 or 3 January.

**Christmas Holiday Dates: usually only 2 nights for hotels. Christmas Dinner is usually eaten late on the 24 December, with presents given afterwards. 

Some hotels may have obligatory Christmas and New Year dinners.

As you can see, there are some years when many of the public holidays cruelly fall on the weekend, so the year has very few national holiday, as they do not carry over to the Monday in Brazil. Many people still travel away for the weekend regardless, so they can still be busy. There are also many state, city and facultative public holidays which apply only in certain areas but may effect your trip. More details can be found here.

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