Brazil takes pride in having "the world's biggest party." For five days, the streets of the South American country are taken over by thousands of blocos, lively street parties followed by tons of people. Brazilians that it seriously, and the Carnival week is a national holiday. Before that, the samba schools spend months preparing for the parade and the pre-Carnival parties start in January, just after the News Year's Eve celebration.
Although Rio de Janeiro sounds like the ultimate destination during the festivities, Carnival is passionately celebrated all over the country. Brazilian culture is a combination of different cultures and it is possible to see those influences on the Carnival songs and music, which are different in each region.
The Place That Lives Up To Any Expectation
Indeed, there is no other city as famous for its Carnival as Rio de Janeiro. According to Tourism Review, the Marvelous City receives over 1.5 million tourists for Carnival every year. During a whole week, the Carnival takes over the streets of Rio de Janeiro – literally. There are over 400 official "blocos de rua", Carnival groups that parade the streets all over the city, mostly playing samba and Brazilian funk.
The famous Carnival parades happen at the Sambodromo Marquês de Sapucaí. During four days, 70 samba schools parade at Sapucaí, competing for the title of the best school of the year.
Partying In A Historical City
Olinda exudes history and culture during the whole year. The historical city is located in the Brazilian Northeast and it is almost always quiet. During Carnival, thousands of people go to Olinda to celebrate the Carnaval at the Blocos and dance to Frevo, traditional music where people dance with a tiny colorful umbrella.
The blocos' parade starts early in the morning and goes until the evening, going up and down the steep hills. The most famous bloco is the giant dolls' parade, which honors different public figures every year. Be aware that Olinda is not for the weak, as escaping the crowds and the heat is impossible.
The Largest Carnival Street Parade Isn't In Rio de Janeiro
Many people might be surprised to discover the world's largest Carnival parade isn't in Rio de Janeiro. Recife is home to the Galo da Madruga, recognized by the Guinness Book as the largest carnival group on the planet, and its parades every Carnival Saturday, along with over a hundred million people. Its symbol is a giant rooster (galo in Portuguese).
People attend concerts with Brazilian singers and bands in the old town every night. As Recife is next to Olinda, combining both cities on the same trip is possible – but people need to have a lot of energy.
This City Has A Parade Of Celebrities
Salvador is famous for hosting some of Brazil's most incredible Carnival parties. The party's heart is a parade of trios elétricos, which are basically huge trucks transformed into stages. Each trio brings huge Axé starts, a traditional Carnival rhythm that emerged in Salvador in the 1980s and is famous all over the country. People often pay to follow the trio along with the city, but there are several attractions for free. Among the most famous musical attractions at Carnival in Salvador are Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury, Banda Eva, and Bell Marques
Another way to enjoy the Carnival in Salvador is by buying tickets to one of the several camarotes, where party-goers can see the whole parade. The camarotes also offer concerts with famous bands and endless amenities.
This Lively City Was Once Known As The Grave Of Samba
São Paulo is one of the liveliest cities in Latin America, but it was known as "the grave of samba" among Brazilians for many years. In the past, the city was not exactly famous for loving Carnival, and the streets were empty as people traveled to the beach or other towns to party.
However, in the last few years, the city is also investing in official blocos de rua, similar to Rio de Janeiro. São Paulo now has over 400 blocos, that take over the street every year.
A Carnaval Made By College Students
The historical city of Outro Preto, Minas Gerais, receives lots of tourists during the year attracted by its colonial architecture. During Carnival, the historical houses are rented to thousands of tourists who want to know another side of Ouro Preto.
The parties are organized by the republicas (similar to student halls), and they have become famous all over the country, and other cities in the region also have similar parties. Every year, they organize thematic parties at the republicas and street parties. The city doesn't have an airport, and getting there demands more planning.
There Is A Carnaval Party Near The Amazon
For those looking for something different, Manaus is the place to go. The capital of the Amazon state celebrates its heritage during Carnival with its own samba school parade. Known as Carnaboi, the celebration combines traditional parties and Brazilian folklore. According to the government, nearly five thousand people attend the event per year.
Although it resembles the parades in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the Carnaboi features unique elements of the Amazon culture and its folklore. It is a party like no other in the country.