Rio Carnival 2015


The Latest from our Man in Rio...


Carnival only officially starts on Friday but already millions of Brazilians and thousands of visitors to Brazil have already taken to the streets, especially in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife. And not to protest, but to party.

Street carnival is back in a big way with an increasing number of blocos and bandas, or street bands, going out in the weeks prior to carnival, until now it is a daily occurrence across the cities.

Blocos are fun and free for anyone to join in as they move through the streets of the different neighbourhoods, and yes, a bloco does have right of way over the traffic.

Visitors to Rio might like to head to Ipanema and Leblon where there will be plenty of action and as you follow the bloco or banda you can hop from botequim to botequim, the Rio bars  that Las Iguanas knows so well. One of Ipanema’s most popular blocos is Simpatia é Quase Amor (Sympathy is Almost Love) that will next be heading out on the beach road on Sunday.

It is estimated there are 141 blocos in the South Zone of Rio alone. Some blocos in Rio will attract hundreds, others thousands, while one million plus may turn out to see and join the blocos on Avenida Rio Branco in downtown Rio over the carnival weekend. Especially on Saturday when it is the turn of Cordão da Bola Preta (Black Ball Chord).

Off street thousands will also head this weekend for Rio’s elaborate and lively carnival balls. You can expect the crème de la crème and international stars to be heading to the city’s legendary Copacabana Palace Hotel where on Saturday the Magic Ball will take place in the Golden Room and throughout the hotel.

Read the next installment of Chris's blog here.

Chris Pickard @criticaldivide