Each Brazilian city has its peculiarities. And at the Carnival, it couldn't be different. In some places, the bash is on the streets, free-of-charge; in others, the best alternative is to pay to be part of a street block following an electric trio - a truck with a sound stage where musicians take turns to play.
There are also places where you can go to clubs and enjoy every day of Carnival at the sound of DJs who play traditional Carnival marches, created early in the last century. Wherever it is, Carnival in Brasil is a unique experience, with plenty of music and joy. See below three cities where you can live it up to this great Brazilian party:
1) Rio de Janeiro, in the State of the sam name
The Cariocas (as people born in Rio de Janeiro are called) really know how to party! And Carnival is the clearest manifestation of this reveller spirit, with hundreds of street blocks spread across the city and the famous parade of samba schools.
The schools represent a specific neighborhood or community and parade in the Sambadrome, on Marques de Sapucaí avenue. They take part in a contest where they get scores for the theme chosen, for costumes and carnival floats, among other items. Each school has its own samba court where the rehearsals take place, which are also good options for fun for those who want to enjoy the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
The street blocks come out on different days and times. Each has its traditional place of concentration where the crowd gathers before the parade. Currently, there are more than 300 street blocks in Rio playing marches, frevo, samba de raiz, axe music and many other musical styles. The revelry begins in January and continues until the Carnival.
2) Salvador, Bahia
One of the most famous and discussed internationally, the Carnival of Salvador brings together people from around the world dancing through the streets of the city, following the trios. Singers like Daniela Mercury, Ivete Sangalo, Claudia Leite, among other famous artists, run the show which lasts much longer than the usual four days. It takes a lot of breath, but the energy is so intense and positive that when you get there you will only think of resting when you get back home.
The cabins and many of the blocks of the Carnival of Salvador are charged, and to participate with more safety and convenience is preferable to buy an abadá (t-shirt that guarantees the permanence within the block). Some travel agencies sell travel packages with several abadás of different blocks for you to celebrate all days. If you do not want to spend too much, the best option is to enjoy the Pipoca Carnival programming.
3) Olinda/Recife, in Pernambuco
Every good Carnival lover or reveller has to go to Olinda and Recife at least once in their lives. The cities are neighbors and Carnival on both is very similar, except that in Recife the revelry is at night, and in Olinda, during the day. In the rhythm of frevo, thousands of people go up and down the slopes with the Carnival blocks and mocks (orchestras that play primarily frevo and marches). The Carnival of Olinda and Recife also brings giant dolls to the streets. One of the most well-known dolls parading since 1932 is the "Midnight Man". Living heritage of Pernambuco since 2006, the doll weighs almost 110 pounds and is 11.50 feet tall.
During Carnival, it’s also very common to hear on the streets rhythms originating in Pernambuco, such as maracatu, manguebeat, coco and ciranda. The main feature of the Carnival of Pernambuco is that the party is democratic, that is, it doesn't matter if you have an abadá or not. The main rule is to have fun!