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Is Carnival 2023 a holiday or an optional work day?

carnival, brazilian carnival

The new year has begun and with the arrival of another year, many Brazilians are starting to plan to enjoy the Carnival period, just as companies need to pay attention to the holiday in order to adapt to their work routine.

In this year of 2023, the Carnival holiday will start on February 20th and will continue until the 22nd of the respective month. However, in São Paulo, the parades will take place on February 17th and 18th (Friday and Saturday). In Rio de Janeiro, the parades will take place on the 19th and 20th of February (Sunday and Monday).

However, what leaves many people in doubt is whether Carnival is in fact a holiday and Brazilians will be on recess, or if Carnival is an optional period. If you also want to know the answer, read on.

Carnival Dates

Despite the samba school parades starting on Friday (17/02) in São Paulo, the Carnival holiday dates run from the 20th to the 22nd of February, as understood in the calendar.

  • 02/20/2023 – Carnival Monday

  • 02/21/2023 – Carnival Tuesday

  • 02/22/2023 – Ash Wednesday

Is Carnival a holiday or an optional work day?

In most Brazilian states, Carnival is not a holiday, but an optional work day. The Carnival holiday takes place mainly throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro.

This is because in 2008 the decree of Law 5.243 took place, which established that Carnival Tuesday is a state holiday, and since then, for the entire state, Carnival Tuesdays are holidays.

It is important to remember that it is only a holiday where state or municipal laws have been approved, as in the case of Rio de Janeiro, where a holiday was determined based on a decree-law.

Am I entitled to take time off at the optional work day?

If, in your city or state, Carnival is understood as an optional work day, the working day must take place normally, unless the company releases its employees for a break that can be compensated in the future.

Therefore, whenever the holiday is an optional work day, it is the boss who will decide on the recess, as well as overtime payment issues, or granting time off to compensate in the future.

However, traditionally, a good part of the companies, banks and businesses tend not to open during the period in which Carnival takes place.

Source: Jornal Contábil


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