carnival in Brazil

Brazil Carnival

Brazilian Carnival

The Carnival in Brazil is one of the biggest cultural party that happen at begging of every year, it’s so important that we say; “The year just began after carnival” in Brazil.

carnival in rio de janeiro

What is the Carnival celebration about?

I will not explain in details the reason about Carnival, in this post you will find the types of parties in different cities in Brazil, so you can plan your next trip according your plans and social status. One thing that you need to know is that Brazil is one of the biggest catholic countries in the world and the Carnival is related:

The carnival is celebrated 40 days before Easter, since the 11th century. This period is called by the Catholic Church of Lent, which preserves forty days of fasting, with abstinence from flesh.

The Carnival in Brazil – Cities:

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo: 

In these both cities the carnival are similar in the way that they celebrate the are parades of samba schools and “Blocos” that are a small or large group of people playing popular music of carnival,  we call these music of the name of “marchinhas”.  Rio de Janeiro have a large carnival than São Paulo but in both cities you can have fun. There’s Blocos for all types of people and ages and you can find what fit you better in therms of your age or if you have kids. I’m saying that because there’s blocos in both cities that could be a little hard to bring kids, specially because the number of people having fun in the streets.

Carnival in Salvador – Bahia

carnival salvador bahia

Salvador have a big Carnival and popular like Rio de Janeiro, the difference between 2 cities are: Salvador don’t have the popular parade of “Schools of Samba” and the main celebration is around the “Trio Elétrico” which is car with sound and thousand of people around, singing, drinking and kissing.

Carnival in Recife –  Pernambuco

brazil carnival recife

In Recife, the “O Galo da Madrugada” block that takes to the streets on Saturday of carnival and wanders through the center of the city, has already entered the book of records as the largest block of carnival in the world. According to the website: Carnival Bookers, another spectacular event is The Night of the Silent Drums that takes place at Praça Terco in Recife. The center turns into a mini Africa where the drums beat to the rhythms of the samba, afoxe, maracatus, and reggae, getting more and more intense as midnight approaches. At the stroke of midnight, the drums fall silent in tribute to the town’s ancestors, followed by a prayer offered by the priestess of Umbanda, the Afro-Brazilian religion. This is a great sight to watch as the locals lift up their hands in gratitude to their god.

Carnival in Olinda –  Pernambuco

Brazil Carnival

For most of the year, Olinda is known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its perfectly preserved colonial architecture and as an artistic hub for local artists. However, for a couple of weeks in February it transforms to welcome Brazil’s most traditional Carnival complete with heaving streets, jostling crowds, endless live music and all-day partying.

Brazil carnival pictures

Brazil Carnival Facts

Although the practice of carnivals originated from Europe, African influence is evident in the Brazil carnivals that we see today. Carnival history dictates that this began when Brazil became a colony of Portugal. Due to the African slave trade, the carnivals adapted the tribal practices which included parading around the village which was actually done to ward off all the bad spirits in the area. People began to use costumes and tribal masks during the celebrations. Feathers were also used in many of the African costumes and this symbolized rebirth and the rise of the spirits which are also important components of the modern day Brazilian carnival.

According to Carnival history, back in the 1600s slave trading was practiced in South America. The slaves that came to Brazil brought with them their culture and love for music. As time went by, slaves who originated from Angola and West Africa started to mingle with the locals of Brazil and shared with them their love for Samba. Since then Samba has become an integral part of the Brazilian Carnival.

Brazil Carnival Tips

There’s a lot of ways to have fun in the carnival in Brazil, to be succeed you need to plan your carnival according to your age, if you have kids or not and how much party you want to have, carnival could be a “too much” if you are not prepare to see a lot of people, dance and walk in a hot weather.

Follow this tips for Carnival in Brazil and you will be fine:
  • Sun Block (Always the average temperature is around 90º in February and March)
  • Comfortable shoes, try to not use flip-flop, people will step in your foot all the time
  • Watch your wallet and Cellphone – Unfortunately there’s a lot of people that lost their cellphones in Brazil, and there’s people ready steal your cell phone, be careful.
  • Water all the time
  • If you have kids try to go in the morning or at the end of the day
  • You must dress up for the carnival, this is the spirit, try to not be yourself like you do every-day.

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Published by

Mauricio Sordille

33 years old, raise and born in Sao Paulo in Brazil. I've been living in California for about 3 years and I'm in love for this country and place.