Carnaval always begins the Friday prior to Ash Wednesday; this year (2010) Carnaval begins on Friday, February 12 and ends on Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) February 16. Both Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Bahia) have big Carnaval events. Though Rio de Janeiro hosts the big event watched by people around the world, Carnaval in Salvador is watched and attended by many Brazilians. This year, I will post links allowing you to watch Carnaval in Salvador in its entirety and to keep track of the events in Rio as they happen. The sites will post news from Rio along with video, but nothing live.
There are 12 samba schools participating in Rio’s Carnaval. Here is when they will perform:
Sunday, 2/14 @ 9PM
U. da Ilha, Imperatriz, Tijuca, Viradouro, Salgueiro, Beija Flor.
Monday, 2/15 @ 9PM
Mocidade, Porta da Pedra, Portela, Grade Rio, Vila Isabel, Mangueira.
Here are the official videos from one of the schools, which will provide you with an idea of what Carnaval is like: