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10 Best Carnivals in Brazil

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Brazil is one of the pioneers when it comes to big carnival parties. For several decades, Brazil’s carnivals have set standards and influenced hundreds of parties in all over the world. Today, the country has great events that are known worldwide, attracting millions of tourists every year to be part of the biggest and most important festivals across the continent and the world.

We accompany you to discover the 10 best carnivals in Brazil.

10. São Luiz do Paraitinga Carnival

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In the town of São Luiz do Paraitinga is celebrated one of the best carnivals in the entire state of São Paulo. Carnival festivities were already a common factor throughout the country in the 18th century. However, for much of the 20th century, São Luiz do Paraitinga did not get to celebrate the festivities. Carnival revived in the population at the end of the 20th century, as many of the authorities present considered the festivities immoral, so they kept the celebration under censorship. From the moment the carnival began to be celebrated again in the year 1982, its popularity grew like froth.

 

In 2010, the town suffered heavy landslides, which caused the festivities to stop for a while. Once back, the town began to add new festive elements and to create its own identity, integrating local elements. Today, the São Luiz do Paraitinga Carnival is one of the most famous and recognized in the entire state. Today, São Luiz do Paraitinga attracts up to 150,000 people during the carnival season.

 

The São Luiz do Paraitinga carnivals revived after centuries of not being held and are here to stay. People go out to the streets to party with the blocos

The São Luiz do Paraitinga carnivals revived after centuries without being celebrated and came to stay. People go out to the streets to celebrate with the blocos

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The carnivals in the town begin with a great presentation by the most important blocos of the town. Likewise, all week long, blocos perform, both in the street and in the square. In most cases, all performances last until midnight. São Luíz do Paraitinga has at least 25 blocos, many of them emerging as a form of popular demonstration. The celebration culminates with a grand musical closing and bloco presentations.

 

 

9. Diamantina Carnival

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Diamantina is a municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. Carnival has been present in the region since the arrival of the Portuguese between the 16th and 18th centuries. This European celebration was integrated with the Creole culture, as well as with the culture of slaves brought from Africa. From the 20th century onwards, the fame of the festivities contributed to the emergence of one of the most important cultural movements in the country: the Samba. Today, Diamantina Carnival has consolidated itself as one of the most important celebrations in the south of the country.

 

The Diamantina Carnival is a street celebration, taking place in the narrow and old streets of the municipality. Diamantina does not rest during the 5 days of celebration, as musical groups or blocos perform repeatedly during the day. The blocos are musical groups that perform a complete show. These groups feature live music and hundreds of followers who take to the streets wearing fun costumes.

 

Performances and blocos show up at every moment, in an endless party of almost 24 hours straight. The events usually start in the afternoon hours and culminate in the early morning hours. The epicenter of the events is located in Praça do Mercado Velho, where the big musical events take place. However, smaller blocos parade through the streets, attracting the largest number of people to party with music and drink. The town has at least 50 blocos, through the streets are always active and with constant music.

E Diamantina Carnival will take place from approximately Friday, February 12 to Tuesday, February 16.

 

 

 

 

8. Florianopolis Carnival

The city of Florianópolis in the state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil, is the epicenter of one of the biggest festivals in the entire country. Carnival has been present in the city since the 20th century. During that time, carnivals were celebrated by the city’s elite, in ballrooms with masked dances. The popular class generally did not have access to this type of celebrations. However, the popular sectors, especially members of the Afro-descendant community, were the ones who began to celebrate the street parties. These parties are the ones that have turned the carnivals into one of the attractions in the city. After several decades, the carnival has continued to integrate new elements.

 

 

Florianópolis Carnival has begun to grow in reputation during the last few years of celebration. Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the coastal city of Florianopolis every year to enjoy one of the best carnival parties. In addition to the incredible parades and blocos performances that the city offers, there are also other types of events such as parties and shows like the Pop Gay, one of the initiatives to integrate the LGBTIQ+ community.

 

The city of Florianópolis has at least 70 blocos that perform throughout the city to provide everyone with the best carnival entertainment. In addition, the samba schools hold their outstanding parades at the city’s sambódromo, better known as the sambódromo Nego Quirido. The various spectacles, parties and shows occur in the different spaces that the city offers.

Florianópolis Carnival is usually held from Friday, February 12 to Tuesday, February 16.

 

 

7. Fortaleza Carnival

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Fortaleza is the capital of the state of Ceará, in northeastern Brazil. Although carnival in Brazil has been the result of the imposition of European cultures, particularly Portuguese, the carnival has a great influence of African culture. During the 1940s and 1950s, the city began to see a great proliferation of cultural groups, mainly those that paid homage to African culture. Thus, one of the best known practices in the city during carnivals emerged: painting their faces black. With this manifestation, people wanted to pay homage to the African community that had suffered for centuries. However, this practice has brought some controversy for being considered offensive. Today, the carnivals of Fortaleza stand out for being one of the most diverse in terms of culture and ethnicity.

 

The Carnival of Fortaleza is considered one of the best festivals in the entire northeastern region of the country. The carnivals in the city of Fortaleza are known for having artistic and cultural expressions particular, especially the maracatu, an Afro-Brazilian cultural expression. In addition, the festival has the participation of street blocos and parades of carnival schools as in any other state in the country.

 

During the carnival festivities in Fortaleza, the blocos are the most popular attractions. Currently, Fortaleza has more than50 blocos that perform in the streets. Some of the best known are: Baqueta, Unidos da Cachorra, Luxo na Aldeia, Bons Amigos, Damas Cortejam and Os Alfazemas. In addition, the carnival parade is one of the most colorful and varied expressions, as it has the participation of blocos, schools and maracatu groups.

The Carnival of Fortaleza is usually held from Saturday, February 13 to Tuesday, February 16.

 

 

6. Ouro Preto Carnival

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The city of Ouro Preto, located in the state of Minas Gerais, is the city of choice for the celebration of university-style carnivals. Carnival has been present in the city since the 19th century and has always had a large participation of young audiences. Ouro Preto is the city of choice for the thousands of young university students studying in the city and adjacent areas. For this reason, the university parties have become one of the main attractions of the city.

Those who organize theCarnival parties in Ouro Preto are none other than fraternities and student organizations known as Repúblicas. These republics offer severalattractive packages during Carnival. In addition, they also sell the tickets and the various services you wish to purchase during the festivities. Every year, the republics sell lots of tickets and services for the festivities, these include the type of entertainment you wish to get, the blocos you wish to see, the type of accommodation you wish to have and the stalls during the festivities. In addition, they also offeropen bars and some food.

 

Ouro Preto Carnival is a University Carnival Celebration

Ouro Preto Carnival is a University Carnival Celebration

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The organization of the party is quite flexible with the services it offers, as you can choose to see all the blocos or just some of your preference. At the event you will find 3 main blocos performing on stage, these are Bloco Cabrobró, Bloco da Praia and the Bloco Chapado. Likewise, you can also find various entertainment spots in any of the streets.The Ouro Preto Carnival offers you several nights of unique entertainment, full of drinks, food and top-notch parties.

Tickets for the blocos’ performances are sold in stages. However, the longer you wait, the more expensive the stands will be. In addition, some services sell out quickly, so if you wait too long, you will miss the opportunity to purchase certain packages.

The Ouro Preto Carnival will run from approximately Friday, February 12 through Tuesday, February 16.

 

 

 

 

5. Carnival of Recife

Recife is a city in thestate of Pernambuco, located in the east of the country.The Recife Carnival is one of the most entertaining and unique carnival festivals in the country. It also has one of the largest blocos in the world. The city of Recife generates a certain duality with the city of Olinda, since both celebrate their carnivals at the same time, although both are completely different.

Carnival arrived in the state of Pernambuco in the 18th century. However, the original traditions changed when they came into contact with African customs. During the 19th century, 2 musical genres characteristic of the carnival festivities in Recife emerged: the frevo and the passo, giving the state’s festivities a cultural twist different from the rest of the celebrations.

 

The Carnivals of Recife are characterized by having several shows with afro-descendant influences, especially with the Maracatus. Although the city performs mainly nighttime shows, it has one of the biggest daytime parties of the carnivals. Every year, the party begins with the presentation of the world’s largest blockhouse: Galo da Madrugada. In addition, it also features a commemorative show known as Night of the Silent Drums. During this celebration, several groups congregate to pay homage to their ancestors.

The Recife Carnival will be held from approximately Friday, February 12 to Tuesday, February 16.

 

 

4. Olinda Carnival

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Olinda Carnival is the counterpart of Recife’s carnivals. Recife and Olinda are sister cities located just 7 kilometers away from each other. However, their carnival celebrations are different. Although both feature blocos and presentations of frevo, Olinda and Recife have fundamentally different shows and entertainment. In fact, the duality of both cities is what makes them so famous, as Recife generally holds nighttime shows, while Olinda holds daytime events.

 

 

Olida has some characteristic elements of its carnivals. The parades of giant dolls, also known as giant bonecos, are some of these elements. Bonecos are large dolls that parade through the streets during carnivals, which date back to the 15th century and were mainly used in religious processions. One of the most famous figures of this type of manifestations is the Homem da Meia-Noite, in Spanish translates toMidnight Man. In addition, his figure is used by one of the frevo blocos that perform during carnivals in the city.

 

In the Carnival of Recife and Olinda you can find big dolls known as Bonecos Gigantes

In the Carnival of Recife and Olinda you can find big dolls known as Bonecos Gigantes

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Also, the city of Olinda has certain carnival venues known as Camarotes. These venues are the epicenter of presentations of various artists at international level. Thousands of people gather at these points to celebrate during the carnival festivities. In addition, the cabins also offer several services such as open bar and meals.

The Olinda Carnival will be held from approximately Friday, February 12 to Tuesday, February 16.

 

 

3. São Paulo Carnival

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The city of São Paulo holds one of the most impressive carnival festivals in the country. Although the city’s carnivals are somewhat overshadowed by the festivities inRio de Janeiro or Salvador, this is not to say that they are not as impressive as the others.

The first carnival parade in the city of São Paulo was held in the year 1885, occupying the first guilds and cultural groupings. These guilds were mainly occupied by the working class, which used the festivities as a means of expression and an escape valve. During the 1940s and 1950s, the city’s blocos began to evolve and new movements increasingly emerged. This proliferation of blocos gave way to the street carnival, one of the purest expressions of carnival still found in the fiestas. In fact, street carnivals could be considered the main event of the original festivities.

 

 

Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city of São Paulo during the festivities in the carnival season. Like the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, the city of São Paulo has a large number of events that take place during the days of festivities. The main or most publicized attraction is the parade that occurs in the sambódromo. However, also occurring a large number of events in different areas of the city with the blocos and in the salons and discotheques are the private parties.

 

Samba schools participate in the official São Paulo Carnival parade

Samba schools participate in the official São Paulo Carnival parade

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São Paulo’s samba schools compete at the Sambódromo do Anhembi. These schools are divided into two groups: Grupo Especial and Grupo de Acesso. The Special Group is composed of the largest and important schools in the city. Both categories are presented on different days and are graded by a jury. Also, the blocos are groups that perform throughout the carnival in the streets, offering music and dance shows to the entire population. The blocos are free entertainment and people can attend as many groups as they wish. Finally, different venues in the city offer themed parties during carnivals as a different alternative to traditional parties.

The São Paulo Carnival will take place approximately between the months of February and March.

 

 

2. Salvador Carnival

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The capital of Bahia, Salvador, is the epicenter of one of the grandest carnival festivals in the entire country. Salvador Carnival is primarily a street celebration, as it does not feature large and ostentatious professional parades; all the entertainment comes from the streets, directly to the public.

Although many people may not know it, the city of Salvador has been one of the main reasons why the country has one of the elements:The Electric Trio or Trio Eléctrico in Portuguese. This large truck themed and completely covered with horns was created in Salvador by Adolfo Antônio do Nascimento and Osmar Alvares Macedo, so the main attraction in the streets of the city are the imposing electric trios. In addition, Salvador’s Carnival differs a bit from Rio’s carnival, as the predominant rhythm in the streets is axé, a local musical genre.

The city of Salvador is witness of a great street party of 6 days, in which the main attractions are the blocos of the city. Every day, different blocos take to the streets of the city to entertain the public with an impressive sound system. Some of these blocos are so large that they can encompass several Trios Elétricos and involve hundreds of thousands of people. The city has dozens of blocos at the carnival, so fun is assured during the festivities.

 

Salvador's Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in Brazil

Salvador’s Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in Brazil

 

The city also provides varied entertainment and for all audiences, as the streets feature static stages where a large number of artists perform and varied atmospheres are available. If you do not feel like moving around the city or if you prefer a more traditional entertainment, the city of Salvador also offers you this type of options that satisfies any musical taste.

 

 

The Salvador Carnival in the state of Bahia takes place from approximately July 8 to 11.

 

1. Rio de Janeiro Carnival

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Rio de Janeiro Carnival is the best carnival in the entire country and possibly the entire world.Carnivals in Rio de Janeiro have set standards of quality everywhere in the world. In addition, they have served as inspiration for many other celebrations in sister countries and around the world. Carnival arrived in Brazil through Portuguese settlers in the 17th century. However, it was celebrated in a rough way, with games of flour, eggs and water. It was not until the 19th century that Carnival underwent a profound change with the creation of the blocos and cordões. Since then, the groups and blocos have proliferated in the city and in the rest of the country and the world.

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival features the most impressive parades in the world. These parades are carried out by the Group A and Special Group samba schools. Both groups perform on different days and both must design their own dance routines, themed costumes and carrozas. Grupo Especial is the most imposing and difficult category, as it has the largest, most popular schools with the largest number of members. Group A, while equally impressive, has some differences, especially in grouping size and performance on the track. Despite some differences in concepts, both categories are amazing and develop once-in-a-lifetime performances. Members of both categories are vying for thetitle of winners for this year’s edition.

 

Although the parades at the sambadrome are the most televised and colorful, they are not the only festive manifestations in the city. Like the rest of the country’s cities, Rio de Janeiro has its own blocos, which are just as impressive as the professional school parades. People gather in the streets to take part in what would come to be the original carnival, the street carnival, the popular and free party. In addition, there are also several themed parties in different places and points of the city. These parties arise as alternatives to the original parties, for people who want a different type of entertainment.